BEDFORD, Iowa — The new Taylor County Law Enforcement Center in Bedford made its debut earlier this month with an open house tour of the new facility on Sept. 12. More than 200 people toured the center to see its various security and communications improvements. Omaha, Neb.-based Prochaska & Associates served as the architect on the project.
Voters approved a $3.8 million bond issue for construction of the new jail in November 2013, and work began on the project a year later, reported KMAland, the local community radio station. The new jail facility replaces a 114-year-old facility that no longer met state correctional standards. In fact, it was shut down for about a year in 2013 to undergo state-ordered repairs.
The county will, however, find other uses for the existing jail building. Taylor County Supervisor Charles Ambrose told KMAland that the back part of the old jail will be used for document storage, and the front part will be converted into offices after some minor renovations. Emergency management will also be moved into the building.
Both the county sheriff’s office and communications center have already been relocated to the new jail, but county officials are still awaiting a state inspector’s review before moving inmates into the new facility.
Earlier this summer, Taylor County’s board of supervisors also approved the purchase of a new $11,250 security system from Irving, Texas-based Secure Tech for the county courthouse. The new system includes a panic button for each courthouse office that would alert the sheriff’s office at the new law enforcement center of any problem, reported KMAland. The security system installation was completed in time for the jail’s debut.