Sheriff’s Office to embark on needs assessment for potential new jail |

Sheriff’s Office to embark on needs assessment for potential new jail

Grand County’s Sheriff’s Office is set to embark on a needs assessment process to consider the potential for constructing a new modernized detention facility.

In early May Sheriff’s Department officials issued a press release regarding department plans to begin consideration of a new detention facility. The facility is an element within Grand County’s recently released strategic plan, outlining the county’s strategic goals and priorities for the next five years.

“By 2021, Grand County residents will experience improved public safety through a new public safety facility, which includes a jail,” reads one of the strategic goals listed in the five-year plan.

“The Grand County Sheriff’s Office and County leaders are currently in the initial implementation development stage of this project, which includes information-gathering and assessment of current and projected needs,” reads the release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Department officials noted the expensive cost of constructing public safety and jail facilities before adding, “few new facilities are built without first exploring other ways of solving the problem.”

According to officials there are three primary reasons new facilities are constructed. If “the existing structure is damaged, aged, and worn out, or otherwise no longer suitable,” a “jurisdiction may decide to improve, modify, or replace the current structure,” reads the release from officials.

Another reason for constructing a new facility relates to an existing structures inability to fit the needs of a given jurisdiction, which is often related to the need to “meet demands for service from a growing population of residents and guests,” stated officials.

Finally, if an existing facility cannot be operated efficiently a new or upgraded facility may be required.

“We must analyze the facts: information about the physical requirements of current standards and case law, contemporary practices, and data,” officials stated.

The forthcoming information gathering and needs assessment process, which is set to begin on June 1, will be conducted by a project team, including department officials and outside consultants.

This project team “will develop a context for the project, describe how the building is currently used, document existing conditions, and analyze opportunities and constraints, while determining long-term needs and implications,” reads the press release. They will also evaluate several possible locations for a future facility.

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