Moving Day is here for the Jasper County Sheriff's Office as officers and movers bring it back into the Carthage city limits for the first time in almost six years.

Moving Day is here for the Jasper County Sheriff's Office as officers and movers bring it back into the Carthage city limits for the first time in almost six years.

Deputies, employees and movers have spent the past few weeks moving furniture, files, cabinets, computers and non-essential items from the leased facility on County Road 180 near the former Atlas complex to the former Bank of America building on the northwest corner of the Carthage Square.

Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser said essential computers, personnel and operations will move to the Square on Monday and the Sheriff's Office will begin operating out of it's new address, 231 S. Main St., on Monday.
Kaiser talked about the process last week.

“We'll be moving everything on Dec. 2, that's Monday, and before that we'll be moving some of the non-essential items,” Kaiser said. “We're just focusing on tidying up the last few things in preparation for moving in. The project has been going very well, it's been on time and on schedule as well as in budget and so we're very excited to have this new headquarters.”

The Jasper County Commissioners and Kaiser announced that the public will get the chance to see the new headquarters and the newly repaired Jasper County Detention Center, 405 E. Fifth St., Carthage from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 during an open house for both facilities.

Bank rebuilding
The $495,000 project to rebuild the former bank building into the Sheriff's headquarters included building a mezzanine-level meeting room and emergency operations center in the former bank lobby.

“This is a specially equipped room that formerly was just a wide open area in the former bank lobby that went from floor to ceiling,” Kaiser said. “We turned it into a mezzanine level. It was a very wise investment. It gives us so many opportunities to do so many things here. It's a great resource not only for the county, but for law enforcement in the area as well. We have a lot that we can offer here in the event of a natural disaster or crisis where we can have a room that is specially set up for multiple jurisdictions and multiple agencies to come in and work together.”

Detectives will work from the former bank drive through teller work space and the former drive through itself has been walled in for use as a garage and evidence processing area. The teller windows were left in place and detectives can observe the evidence collection process through those windows.

Office space was built in the area where the lobby tellers used to sit and in the basement of the building, and training and interview rooms were installed in the space under the mezzanine.

“It's something that I think our county can be proud of when they see the Jasper County Sheriff's Department headquarters,” Kaiser said. “They know that they've got a nice structure, a nice building and it's something that the officers as well as the community can be proud of to say is their sheriff's office.”

Jail repairs
The Commissioners and Sheriff also signed off and made the final payment last week on the $828,800 project to refurbish the Jasper County Detention Center.

“It is a lot of money but the scope of the project was very wide,” Kaiser said. “It was one of those things where it's a 20-plus year-old facility and the work needed to be done and we're happy to have that finished up.”
The repairs remedied problems with door locks, doors themselves and alarms as well as the computers and electronics that controlled all the doors, locks and alarms.

“We had a problem before the project with fire alarms just randomly going off for no reason,” Kaiser said. “Of course that causes a bit of chaos if you think about 200-plus inmates in a facility where the fire alarms are going off and trying to figure out what's going on. It was a safety concern and so we got those remedied. That's just an example of some of the things that were going on. We had locks that didn't lock, doors that didn't close and when you're running a jail, those are things you want to have happen. You want doors that close and locks that locks and we're tickled to have this completed.”