New Jail Training Facility Debuts in Georgia

ROME, Ga.—Floyd County Jail’s new officer training facility will have its grand opening on March 26 following six months of construction.

The Rome News-Tribune reported that the 4,000-square-foot facility—adjacent to the county jail at 2526 New Calhoun Highway—was funded by a combination of 2013 and 2017 special purpose, local option sales tax (SPLOST) funds.

The new Kristen Hearne Memorial Training Center has been named after a fallen detective.

Prior to becoming a detective with the Polk County Police Department, Hearne was a beloved member of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office.

“Kristen worked here for a number of years, she worked with me, she worked at the courthouse …so we all knew Kristen,” said Sapp.

Hearne was shot to death in the line of duty in September 2017. The man accused of killing her is still awaiting trial in Polk County. The Sheriff’s office chose to honor her with naming the new facility after her and plan to put up a picture of her by the entrance of the center.

The new facility includes a large classroom, gym, offices, rest rooms and showers. And, with its news computer system, jail administrators can control the jail operations from the training center in case of an emergency.

“If for some reason we have to lock down that facility, we can operate everything in here,” Sapp said in a statement.

The center also has biometric access, which scans the thumbprint of the officer to unlock the door.

When originally calculating the cost of the training facility, Sapp and county employees realized that it would cost around $1.5 million—more than the set budget.

Sapp said that by using county resources and inmate work crews, the county was able to self-perform the construction and save $1 million. Some parts of the construction project were overseen by a construction company, such as the implementation of the steel structure.

This is first of two SPLOST-funded constructions projects for the jail. Phase II construction will involve renovating the medical facility and creating a mental health unit in the jail.

SPLOST 2017 has more than $5 million set for the Phase II budget, which will be overseen by Carroll Daniel Construction.

The medical facility is slated for completion this December, while the new mental health unit is set to be finished in December 2021, said FCSO Maj. Bob Sapp in a statement.