Murfreesboro Police's new headquarters $23 million over budget

Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland speaking at the groundbreaking for new police headquarters. (WSMV)

It's a beautiful, state-of-the-art building and a much-needed upgrade to the current Murfreesboro Police headquarters.

But the taxpayers want to know, how do you go from a budget of $32 million and end up spending $55 million?

"It's a nice looking building on the outside," said Councilman Eddie Smotherman, Murfreesboro City Council.

For six years, Murfreesboro city leaders have been eagerly awaiting a new police headquarters.

Today that vision is nearly a reality as this 135-thousand-square-foot facility is opening in a few weeks.

"It's first class," said Smotherman. "It's a facility that's going to be second to none in middle Tennessee."

The building includes a new dispatch center, indoor firing range, and an oversized evidence locker.

The price tag? $55 million dollars.

That's 70-percent more than the original budget of $32 million.

"There is supposed to be somebody that's in charge of keeping their finances where they're budgeted to be, so evidently somebody wasn't doing their job," said Smotherman.

Smotherman admits the spending probably got out of hand, but he argues they had to make the building bigger and better to meet the growing demands of the police department.

"Sometimes things get dropped through the cracks," he said. "I think communicating the expenses of this building was not conveyed very well."

Former City Manager Rob Lyons, who oversaw much of the project resigned late last year. He had been with the City of Murfreesboro for more than 20 years.

"I think the awareness of councilmembers and the communication flow needs to be improved," he said, "and I think we're taking steps in that direction."

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