Pelham begins designing police department

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Architects got the go-ahead from Pelham City Council on Monday to begin designs on a new Pelham Police Department building for the growing northern Shelby County city.

Council members approved a resolution permitting the architecture firm Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum to design the new police department. The firm also designed the new Shelby County Jail in Columbiana.

Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes said the new police station will include holding cells, but he insisted that the city is not entering the jail business. Any felony prisoners will be transferred to the county jail.

&uot;We just hold them until they make bond or are transferred,&uot; Hayes said.

According to Hayes, the city’s growth has increased demands on city services and staff, including police.

&uot;We have absolutely outgrown the facility we have with the police department,&uot; Hayes said.

Monday’s resolution approved $47,020 for the firm to design the new station.

Hayes said designers will work with Pelham Police Chief Allan Wade and his staff to determine specifics of the new facility.

The new jail will include nine cells, with six reserved for males and three for females.

By March 31, Hayes said the city will close on property for the new police station, located at the southwest corner of City Hall on U.S. 31.

The property once housed the old First Baptist Church, which now occupies a new building on U.S. Highway 31.

Currently, the Pelham Police Department works downstairs from City Hall.

Moving police to a new building would increase space for other city departments as well, Hayes said.

The resolution for the design of the new police station indicated that it must be submitted to city council by September to be included in next year’s budget