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MPD cited for fire safety violations

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Oct. 25, 2001
Acting Police Chief Benny DuBose said Wednesday some of the fire safety violations cited in an August inspection of the 26-year-old Sixth Street police headquarters have been repaired, but other problems cannot be fixed.
Fire Chief Bunky Partridge said if the station does not meet fire code requirements in the latest inspection, completed Monday, his department will issue the city a citation presentable in city court.
In August, the Sixth Street station was cited for 34 violations, including a faulty alarm system, water leakage and foundation problems. That report followed an annual April inspection that listed 66 violations. Officials are now awaiting a report on the station's most recent inspection.
Nearly half of the fire code violations involved missing, damaged or cracked ceiling tiles, a problem that cannot be remedied without replacing the entire ceiling, since those tiles are no longer made, DuBose said.
A leakage problem likely cannot be fixed since the roof design is flat and some of the leakage is due to walls that are cracked and separating, he said.
Maureen Lofton, spokesman for the city, said city officials are looking at several options such as possibly renovating existing buildings.
Besides the violations included in the report, some employees are working in rooms with layers of glue on the floor due to the removal of old and torn carpeting. Officers working in the reception area work on loose and torn carpeting. City council members hold meetings on a wooden floor that is literally caving in and sit under tiles that are molded and sagging.
The foundation in the sally port area has shifted so much that huge cracks run the length of the walls there, and a plexiglass window in the rear of the building is cracked and loose from its frame.
DuBose said while the building needs to be replaced, the department has a priority of employing officers and maintaining patrol cars.
The department was short staffed by 17 patrol officers until last week, when five officers were called away to serve on active military duty. And seven of the department's 11 regularly used patrol cars have more than 100,000 miles per car, he said.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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