Logan County Sheriff’s Office personnel spent two days last week training on camera and door usage in the county’s new detention center on Lowder Street in Paris.
The plan is to practice for four days this week, using deputies and others as “mock prisoners” in preparation for a soft opening next week, according to chief deputy Josh Scott, with the first prisoners expected to be transferred from the county’s existing detention facility on Grober Street on Monday, June 17.
The first hearing for the courtroom in the facility is scheduled for next Wednesday, June 19.
A grand opening/ribbon cutting was held at the facility on May 22 and work to complete the installation of the camera system — there are 220 of them — and electronics for doors continued through last weekend.
As noted at the grand opening three weeks ago, the new facility is large — Logan County Judge Ray Gack said the idea was to build for 3019 rather than 2019. That, Scott said has sometimes made getting used to the facility a little intimidating.
“The worst case scenario is we could open a wrong door and a prisoner could walk out,” he said.
The new jail is a 100-bed facility, which almost triples the number of the capacity of the Grober Street facility, which was built in the 1980s and often cited for being out of compliance with jail standards.
Funding for the new facility, which also includes the Logan County Sheriff’s office and a courtroom, is derived from two bond issues totalling $12.1 million.
The bonds are backed by one of two half cent sales taxes passed by Logan County voters in July of 2016. One of the half cents is to pay for the construction and the other to equip and maintain the facility.
Through May, both taxes had generated more than $2.5 million.
Construction of the facility began in December of 2017 with the county taking possession of the building on May 8 of this year.