Home Local News St. Mary Parish to Benefit from New Centralized Law Enforcement Complex

St. Mary Parish to Benefit from New Centralized Law Enforcement Complex

by KQKInews
2 minutes read

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office is embarking on an ambitious project to enhance its capabilities and service to the community. Sheriff Gary Driskell announced on Friday the construction of a new facility tailored specifically for law enforcement functions, signifying a significant milestone for the department. “It means a tremendous accomplishment to us for us to have a building built for law enforcement,” said Sheriff Driskell. He explained that while their current headquarters, a former school, is functional, it was not designed with police work in mind. The new building will cater directly to the needs of law enforcement, aiding deputies in working cases and investigations more effectively.

Strategically located off the frontage road in Centerville near Ronnie’s airboats and storage facility, the new Sheriff’s Office is right at the heart of the parish, allowing for improved service to the community. “The new location is going to bring us all together into one,” Sheriff Driskell stated, highlighting that currently separated divisions such as criminal, patrol, narcotics, and detectives will be unified, fostering better communication and efficiency throughout the parish.

Chief Deputy John Kahl provided further insight into the operational improvements anticipated with the new facility. “We are looking to establish a small office around the Morgan City area to still accommodate people in the east side of the parish,” Kahl mentioned, emphasizing their commitment to maintaining services across the parish while centralizing their assets. According to him, detectives and patrolmen are currently scattered across regions, which impacts workload balance and information sharing. “It will help facilitate information and intelligence,” he added, noting that this centralization should lead to quicker response times and improved familiarity with the community.

Sheriff Driskell also noted the fiscal prudence behind choosing property owned by the parish. With enough grounds for future expansion, including a potential new female facility on-site, this move represents strategic foresight. Chief Deputy Kahl elaborated on their financial strategy for this project: “We’ve decided that we’re going to use a bond to pay for the entirety of the project.”

The estimated cost for this venture stands at $6 million—$5 million for the Sheriff’s office construction and an additional $1 million allocated for a state-of-the-art motor pool. The well-managed finances of previous years paved the way for this development.

Construction is slated to begin within 6-8 months with an anticipated timeline of 16-18 months until completion. “We just look forward to this new building and being able to serve the people of this parish better,” concluded Sheriff Driskell as he expressed his eagerness for the advancements this project promises for St. Mary Parish’s law enforcement capabilities.

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