WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Construction on the $70 million state of the art Wichita County Law Enforcement facility that started early this year is coming right along.
There are some major upgrades in this facility, one of which is a full on-site infirmary that county officials said will increase safety and reduce cost.
Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mark Beauchamp said one of the county’s biggest expenses is having to take inmates to a hospital facility and having 24/7 guards.
Despite 25 weather days thus far, county officials are proud of the progress being made to make the new Wichita County Law Enforcement center a reality by September 2020.
“All things considered, as wet as we were this spring I think we are doing really well just to have 25 at this point,” Beauchamp said.
The $70 million project is about 40% to 45% complete, with 12 more months to go, things are looking great with no expected delays.
“We see a lot of square footage done, we see a lot of building in place and we are gonna see a lot more in the next couple of weeks but there is still a lot more to go,” Yates site General Superintendent Jon Bormann said.
And, once it is complete, Beauchamp said there will be major differences between the current Wichita County Jail and the new state of the art facility.
“This is a direct supervision facility, where everyone is in a pod, the detention officer is in there with them for the day,” Beauchamp said.
“When you have a direct supervision facility like this it cuts down instances of inmate on inmate violence [and] inmate to correctional officer violence.”
Beauchamp said thus making it a safer facility to operate.
Jail pods will also be equipped with program space for rehabilitation opportunities for inmates such as GED classes, worship services and or therapy sessions, a step toward giving inmates a purpose and a step toward self-improvement.
“In this facility, each pod will have direct sunlight through glass walls, they will also have direct access into exercise yard contained within the pod,” Beauchamp said.
Beauchamp said it is important for taxpayers to know where and how their dollars are being spent and he believes this facility will prove to be secure and efficient.
This facility will also offer not only face-to-face visitation but also video visitation.