By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO — Mayor Jack Reed Jr. held the deed to the future of the Tupelo Police Department today, standing with police and other city officials on land planned for a new police headquarters, property seized through a federal and state contraband cigarette investigation.
After six years of an investigation that included the FBI, area offices with the U.S. attorney and the U.S. Marshal and the Tupelo Police Department, the city received the deed for the property used to store cigarettes stored in a 100,000 square-foot warehouse to avoid paying taxes.
Along with the property, the city of Tupelo will also receive cash associated with the undercover operation. Reed wouldn’t give a specific amount the city will receive because the operation is still ongoing. However, the city is set to receive in the range of $1.5-$3 million, which will help build a new police headquarters on the property along Front Street, near other city property.
The city has already set aside $3.75 million for a new police headquarters.
During a news conference announcing receiving the new property, Reed said the property will improve facilities for Tupelo police, which currently split departments in two facilities in different parts of the downtown area.
“It’ll be a fine building and appropriate to the respect the citizens give the Tupelo Police Department,” Reed said.
Police chief Tony Carleton said having a facility with all departments under one roof will benefit the citizens and police.
Read more in Wednesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.