PD building closing its doors

Today marks a first for the Crossroads area, as the Big Spring Police Department made its final move into the Troy M. Hogue Joint Law Enforcement Center, placing all local law enforcement agencies under the same roof.The BSPD — which joins the Howard County Sheriff's Office at the newly constructed facility — announced this week the move marks the closure of the previous police department building, located in downtown Big Spring.“The former building — located at 400 E. Fourth St. — has been the home of the Big Spring Police Department since 1956,” Sgt. Tony Everett, public information officer with the BSPD, said. “For a lot of us who have come up through the BSPD ranks, this place has been like a second home for us for a very long time. However, the move to the joint law enforcement center is going to allow us to better serve the citizens of Big Spring and Howard County.”Everett said the doors at the old facility were expected to close today at noon, as city and county officials and crews work to make the move.“We'll be doing everything we can to help with the transition,” Sheriff Stan Parker said. “We were able to move the sheriff's office equipment and staff a while back, so we know full well how difficult a task this is.”According to Everett, today's move will not interrupt any of the emergency services provided locally.“Emergency services will not be effected by the move. All 911 and non-emergency phone lines will be functioning at the joint law enforcement center,” Everett said. “Patrol services have already been moved over to the new facility and all other BSPD divisions will begin working Monday morning at the Troy Hogue Joint Law Enforcement Center.”The new Troy Hogue Joint Law Enforcement Center — located in the 3600 block of W. Highway 80 — represents a joint venture between the city of Big Spring and Howard County, with funding for the facility coming from both government agencies. The project is estimated to cost approximately $2.7 million, with the city of Big Spring chipping in $1.7 million and the county picking up the balance.Parker said the new facility is a step forward for law enforcement in Howard County thanks to the accessibility of information between the BSPD and sheriff's office.“When you have investigators from both agencies working in the same building, it's a lot easier for them to share information and resources,” Parker said. “It also allows us to provide services to the citizens more efficiently, since we don't have to duplicate services such as dispatch between us. It's a definite step forward for law enforcement in this area.”Phone services were installed at the Troy Hogue Law Enforcement Center during the weekend, causing an approximate 30-minute blackout on non-911 dispatch lines. Parker called the installation the last step for the PD in moving into the facility.