The Adair County Public Safety Center and Jail in Greenfield is slated to open in about two-weeks. Sheriff Brad Newton says to celebrate the long-awaited event, they’re holding an open house for the public on Saturday, beginning at 1-p.m. The only thing holding back the Sheriff’s Office and Greenfield Police force from moving in right now, according to Newton, is the installation of new E-9-1-1 Communications equipment. He says Adair County is one of seven counties in the area that’s set to receive new E-9-1-1 equipment. Newton said if they were to move the existing communications equipment into the new facility, it would cost about $10,000. But if they wait, the new equipment is included in the contract price of the facility. Voters in Adair County approved a 3-million dollar bond referendum for the combination jail/Public Safety Center, in May, 2010. The facility is in a lot adjacent to the current, 110-year old jail. The new facility will serve as the jail, house the offices of the Greenfield Police and Sheriff’s Departments, dispatch, evidence room, and a file room. Officers with the Greenfield P.D. will be in an open area, called the “Squad Room,” with Sheriff’s deputies. The Sheriff says persons who attend the open house on Saturday, from 1-to 3-pm, will be impressed by what their tax dollars have purchased.
He says it’s a modern facility, built to serve the needs of the County for years to come. Newton says it doesn’t have any extravagant features, but is much more secure than the old facility, from which at least three escapes have occurred over the past few years. He said they held the costs down as much as possible, and are currently under budget. Bids for the project came in at around $2.8-million dollars. The 3-million dollar bond covers other, non-construction related costs. Newton says they have enough in reserve to tear down the old jail, a plan that wasn’t included in the original project. He says the land on which the 110-year old jail sits, will be used in-part, for parking.
Escapes from the old jail often took place in an outdoor exercise area for inmates. Sheriff Newton says that won’t happen with the new jail. That’s because it’s totally indoors. No one can see in, and no one can see out. Newton said the old exercise area “Has been a pain in our side since it was built.”