Cathy Dyson writes about King George County.
Sheriff hopes to be in new office by July 16
Employees of the King George Sheriff’s Office plan to be in their new digs by July 16, this time next week. The group will get ready to move into the new building, which is in the Government Center off State Route 3, said Sheriff Steve Dempsey.
The new center will cost $7.5 million and have 40,000 square feet. Construction has been delayed repeatedly, and in the past 14 months, Dempsey has been given five different dates for when he and his 52 employees could move into the building.
He said there probably will be a grand opening and ribbon-cutting in October, after the 911 center moves into the building. It will probably take until September for service providers to move the system over to the new center, Dempsey said.
He gave supervisors a tour of the new building on Tuesday.
Supervisor Ruby Brabo toured the new office a few weeks ago, in response to questions from residents of her district about the size of the building. She sent out the following list of new features about the office:
Juvenile holding cell: This is a requirement that is not currently being met.
American Disabilities Act holding cell: This is a requirement that is not currently being met.
Forensic room: Currently the deputies do not have a designated location for processing evidence.
Fingerprinting room and machines: Currently the county relies on surrounding localities for the use of their equipment.
Deputy gun and ammo storage: Currently these items are stored in the evidence room.
K-9 boarding: Currently the deputy must leave his canine inside his vehicle with the car running to provide air conditioning while the deputy is inside the office. This new facility provides a location for the animals to have shelter and care while the officer attends training or processes paperwork. Currently when a deputy is out of town, the county must pay for the canine to be boarded at another locality. With the new facility, the deputy can leave his dog in King George for boarding at no additional costs to the county.
Vehicle processing garage: Currently, vehicles must be processed immediately causing overtime expenditures in addition to being exposed to the elements. This new facility will allow the vehicle to be sealed away from exposure to the elements and can be left until the next work day eliminating the need to pay overtime.
Internal training room (seats 24): Currently the sheriff has no facility for training. He must impose on other departments and must schedule training around the availability. With the new facility, the sheriff can conduct training as needed.
Multi-purpose room for regional events (seats 48): Currently the sheriff cannot offer to host any regional training or events.
Prisoner secure transport area: Currently the sheriff takes the prisoner from the car in the open parking lot to the building. This exposes the deputy to numerous risks. With the new facility, the deputy will pull his car into a secure bay that is locked before removing the prisoner from his car. This bay connects directly to the prisoner holding area.
Conference room: Currently the sheriff has no room for conducting his weekly meetings with staff. He must rely on the availability of other departments to provide a room for these meetings.
Bereavement/compassionate room: Privacy and comfort sometimes really do matter. Currently the Sheriff’s Office offers no privacy nor area of comfort to families who receive unfortunate news. Currently the families of juveniles who are being questioned have no place to sit in privacy while things are sorted out. Sitting in a lobby with others, or being taken into an interview room are not always the appropriate places to handle certain situations.