After several years, the Wiggins Municipal Court and Police Department will soon be housed under one roof, thanks to helping hands from the Seabees based in Gulfport.
They’re known for building schools, hospitals, and bridges mostly overseas, but members of the three battalions at the Gulfport Seabee Base have been working on a domestic mission in Wiggins over the past year and a half. Wiggins Mayor Joel Miles said, “In 2013, we found mold, mildew and environmental issues, safety issues in the building. We had remediation specialists come in and it had to be gutted.”
A costly project, but these Seabees rose to the occasion, lending a hand building a much needed new facility to house the Wiggins Police Department and Municipal Courtroom, all the while cutting costs. “When the bids came in as high as they did, we were looking at probably another year or two or three at a minimum getting into this building,” said Mayor Miles.
On Tuesday, city officials, police, and the guests of honor, Gulfport Seabees, were on hand for a ribbon cutting celebrating the new facility.
Police are expected to be fully operational out of this building in about two months. Wiggins Police Chief Matt Barnett tells News 25 this new facility will enhance the force’s ability to better protect and serve their community. “We have temporarily been at a small facility than we are used to operating out of. When you’re doing interviews and meeting with people and all, it’s a lot more convenient to have the appropriate offices and space to do what you need to do.”
Commander Luke Greene says it’s a win-win for the City of Wiggins and the Seabees. “It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to step in and provide that assistance. Like I said before, not only a benefit for the city, but also a huge training opportunity for us and that’s why we were able to do it.”