- Associated Press - Friday, February 28, 2014

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - City leaders say there has been enough talk about the need for a new police station and it’s time to act.

Mayor Jason Shelton told WTVA-TV (http://bit.ly/1pD2FfU ) the department is working out of a number of worn-down buildings.

During a work session on Thursday, the City Council gave Police Chief Bart Aguirre preliminary approval of an expanded budget of $10 million for the station.

Shelton said it has taken about a decade for a council to agree on a budget for the station.

The extra money will give the department space for more offices, a forensic lab and a workout room for officers.

“I’m ready to break ground tomorrow,” City Councilman Mike Bryan said.

“They’ve been living in boxes in different buildings,” Bryan said. “They have been struggling for a long period of time.”

Council members said the budget increase is essential to the success of the department. The original budget for the project was $8.8 million.

“If we can build a $13 million aquatic center, then I believe the city of Tupelo should not shortchange our Police Department,” Bryan said.

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Information from: WTVA-TV, http://www.wtva.com