FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A new Fayetteville police headquarters will open Monday on Stephen Carr Memorial Boulevard. It’s an 82,000-square-foot facility that’s been under construction since 2021.

The old police department was 30 years old. In the beginning, the department had around 70 officers. Now, that number has more than doubled. The extra space was needed to keep up with the growth.

The new headquarters has a big connection to Officer Stephen Carr. He was shot and killed while sitting in his patrol car outside the old Fayetteville Police Department in 2019.

Sgt. Tony Murphy with the Fayetteville Police Department said what happened to Carr influenced some of the safety designs for the new building.

“We think that probably wouldn’t have happened at that time or in that way if the parking was secure. We do have secure parking for employees here at the police department, and I think that was the chief’s and the mayor’s number one goal, to secure parking for the employees,” Murphy said.

Madi Rader had been dating Carr since 2016. She said he would always make you smile. Her family was able to take a tour of the new facility, and she thinks the safety measures that have been taken are impressive.

“Them being able to take steps to prevent something like this from happening again I think is very important,” Rader said.

Rader is especially looking forward to a memorial statue that will be placed near the front doors of the police headquarters. It will capture a moment in Carr’s life when he found a stray dog while on duty.

“He was just so scared, but he let Steve [Carr] come and sit next to him. That is the image that is going to be the memorial statue,” Rader said.

Rader thinks Carr would be proud to know he’s still helping Fayetteville and the community.