PINE BLUFF, Ark. — On Wednesday, Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington joined City leadership as well as Saracen Casino Resort (Saracen) Chairman Joseph Tali Byrd in a ceremonial ribbon cutting on the City’s newest fire station and a police substation.
Both were made possible by a public-private partnership between the City and Saracen. Located at 3609 Market Street in Pine Bluff, both stations are on Saracen property; however, the City of Pine Bluff will lease the facilities for $1 per year, and the stations will serve all Pine Bluff residents.
“The City of Pine Bluff is pleased to have the state’s largest construction project in our backyard and know that it will spur on other economic development, not only in the immediate vicinity, but throughout our city,” Mayor Washington said. “By opening the fire station and police substation, we are planning for future projects and realize the need to be ready for expansion. The safety of Pine Bluff residents and visitors is our top priority, and we are grateful to have a partner in the Quapaw Nation, which understands the need to ensure superior fire and police service as our City grows. This is one of the many ways we’ve worked together to serve the residents of Pine Bluff, and I look forward to future opportunities to join forces and improve the quality of life for the people of Pine Bluff and Southeast Arkansas.”
The combination fire station and police substation was built as the fulfillment of a commitment from the Quapaw Nation before the start of the Saracen Casino Resort construction, which will hold its grand-opening later this month. Quapaw Nation Chairman Joseph Tali Byrd echoed the sentiment of Pine Bluff leaders.
“We’re proud to be a partner to the City of Pine Bluff and open these state-of-the-art facilities at Saracen Casino Resort,” Chairman Byrd said. “Saracen is a catalyst for growth in Pine Bluff and southeast Arkansas. Ensuring the safety of guests who visit our resort and the surrounding community is equally important to the Quapaw Nation. We will continue to be partners in progress with Mayor Washington and the City of Pine Bluff, Jefferson County and all of southeast Arkansas.”
Fire Station 4 has two large bays and will house three firefighters rotating on three shifts. There are individual sleeping quarters, gender-specific restrooms and shower facilities.
“This has everything you’d see in a modern fire station,” said Pine Bluff Fire Chief Shauwn Howell. “As our city continues to grow, it’s important that our facilities reflect the growth and ever-changing make-up of our firefighters. This station also has plenty of room to grow. I can’t begin to say how thankful I am for everyone involved, especially Mayor Washington and the Saracen Casino team.”
The police substation enhances the City’s ability to fight crime and provides much needed office space for the Pine Bluff Police Department.
“We’re excited for this addition to our department,” said Pine Bluff Police Deputy Chief Billy Elliott, Jr. “This substation plays a pivotal role not only in our work to decrease crime, but in giving our residents, businesses and visitors of our wonderful city greater access to the department—something we always strive for. We’re thankful to have this much needed space and look forward to continuing to serve the people of Pine Bluff.”