Joint Law Enforcement Center Discussed
By Betsy Finklea
The Dillon County and City councils held a joint meeting recently to discuss the possibility of a joint law enforcement center.
County Administrator Clay Young said Bill Clark, who worked on the original jail and the expansion, was asked to look at the law enforcement center and draw a plan.
Originally, a Sheriff’s office was to be put at the new jail, but this did not happen. It was revisited about a year ago. Young said when they revisited the issue they discussed looking at putting other agencies out there as well.
The center could help address issues such as security, freeing up officers from transporting duties, etc. Councilman Harold Moody pointed out during the meeting that it would save the county rent costs as well.
Young said they decided to ask the city to join in because they felt it would be a win-win situation. The proposal would call for 31,000 sq.ft. building. About 10,000 sq.ft. would be allotted to the city, who now has about 1,000 sq.ft. at their current location.
One of the city council’s main concerns expressed during the meeting was how the city was going to pay for it.
City Councilman Phil Wallace said he didn’t want the city to do this out of opportunity, but need. He had concerns about the financial investment along with the ongoing expenses.
Councilman John Braddy said he felt this would be a more doable situation for the city if they had a long-term lease.
The county council let the city council know that they will need a decision soon so that they can decided how to best move forward with the project.
The city council is supposed to let the county council know their decision next week.