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Floyd county still seeks new law enforcement center

Google street view of the possible location for the law enforcement center, near the county courthouse

CHARLES CITY – An aging jail is still a big problem in Charles City for police and the sheriff’s office, and work is continuing to find a solution to pay for and build a new structure.

The Floyd County Auditor’s Office reports that the Floyd County Board of Supervisors and the Charles City Council have established a committee to study the viability of a joint law enforcement center. Prochaska & Associates has been hired to consult the committee for this process.

Floyd County and Charles City’s Law Enforcement Center Committee met with architects Prochaska & Associates on January 5th, 2017 to review progress on several key issues. County Supervisor Linda Tjaden was introduced as Chair of the Committee. The City and County’s common goal is to evaluate planning options that may lead to a possible Joint Law Enforcement Center facility.

Key issues discussed at the meeting were:

• Because the 75 year old Floyd County Jail is extremely undersized by current jail standards, the County must transport and house over-capacity inmates to other county jails at an increasing cost to Floyd County taxpayers. Statistical Floyd County jail population history, when projected 20 years from now, indicate a need for 32 beds.

• A list of needed interior spaces and estimated sizes for a possible combined facility for the Charles City Police Department, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and Jail, Magistrate Court, and Emergency Management office was reviewed with the departments and Sub-Committee. This total square footage will be used to develop a preliminary plan. The feasibility of a potential building site adjacent to the Courthouse was reviewed.

The Committee meeting was concluded with tours of the city Police Department and of the Courthouse 4th Floor Jail and Sheriff’s Office. Additional open house tours of the facilities for the public and media are anticipated in the future as preliminary planning continues.

Floyd county supervisors at their meeting on April 26 reviewed and took action on a request for proposals for a compound that would house a jail/sheriff’s office/Charles City police department and dispatch center. This would combine the Charles City police department and the Floyd county sheriff’s office under one roof.

Discussions to replace the Floyd county jail have been in the works for years. Back in 2014, things got so bad there that Floyd County Sheriff Rick Lynch declared that due to liability and cost concerns, inmates would be sent to the Mitchell county jail. The move could have cost some jailers and employees their jobs, but adjustments were made at the jail to get by until a solution could be found.

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