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April M Havens; Staff Reporter
Mississippi Press

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd and his staff are thrilled to be moving back into their pre-Hurricane Katrina home on the ground floor of the Jackson County Courthouse after three long years spent in trailers, he said.
"I'm very happy that we're moving back in," Byrd said Thursday. "It's about time. The officers have been working out of their cars pretty much, but they never once complained about it, and that just shows their loyalty."
Byrd said his department is "moving in a little at the time," as new furniture goes into the renovated space. Dispatch has already moved in, he said, and soon administration, process, transportation, and the patrol and traffic divisions will move.
About 35 Sheriff's Department staff members were displaced after Hurricane Katrina, and they were housed for the past three years in one single-wide and one double-wide trailer on courthouse property.
The entire administration and process departments have been stuffed into one trailer ever since the storm, Byrd said.
The renovated ground floor will also give back to the more than 100 patrol officers an area to complete their paperwork, Byrd said.
"This whole time they had nowhere to come and do their paperwork," he said, noting that the two trailers provided much less space than the ground-level floor in the courthouse.
But not only are the sheriff's employees getting their home back-they're getting a home that is even better than it was preKatrina.
"It's nicer than it's ever been," Byrd said. "The ground floor was completely renovated."
The space got new restroom facilities as well as electrical, air conditioning and phone systems. Asbestos from the courthouse was removed, and all walls had to come down in the renovation, he said.
And while the department "could always use more room," Byrd said, "this'll get us through."

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