Proposed Public Safety Center
Here is where you can find a collection of information regarding a proposed Public Safety Center.
Q: Why are we calling it a Public Safety Center and not a jail?
Only 1/3 of the proposed Public Safety Center would house the jail. The other 2/3 would house the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s staff, the dispatch center, the emergency manager, and a space that can be used as both a training room and an Emergency Operations Center. The current concept plan also includes space for secure mental health treatment. (4/24/23)
Q: Wouldn’t adding to the existing jail be cheaper than building something new?
A significant portion of the existing jail was built in 1955, well past its expected life span. Bringing a nearly 70-year-old jail into full compliance would have a substantial cost; plumbing repairs and replacement alone were estimated at $750,000 - $2,000,000 in 2022. There are significantly more complicated and costly issues as well, particularly issues of safety for corrections officers, staff, and inmates. (5/8/23)
Q: The current inmate count is around 20 per day. Why do we need 56 inmate beds in the proposed Public Safety Center?
County jails are required to separate inmates into over 16 populations. The design of the proposed Center would bring us into compliance with state and federal segregation requirements and would provide flexibility for holding different types of inmates. Also, a flexible design is critical for a building with a lifespan of at least 50-years. (6/15/23)
Q: The health department building in Bellaire is being renovated for the sheriff’s staff. Are they going to stay there?
If the proposed Public Safety Center is approved by the voters, the sheriff’s staff would move to the new building. The renovated health department building would be repurposed for use by other departments. (6/15/23)