BEE COUNTY, TEXAS — Less than two years after ground was broken, the Bee County Sheriff’s office is finally moving out of its outdated facility into one that is state-of-the-art.
The new $25 million facility will also have a new jail big enough to hold 143 inmates.
“Our old facility was just so outdated, it was literally becoming dilapidated. There were pieces and parts and stuff that could not be replaced on cell doors and had to be manufactured. There are a lot of structural issues over there, and sewer problems were some of the biggest problems we had,” said Bee County Sheriff Alden Southmayd.
Sheriff Alden Southmayd said administration and deputies have already moved in while inmates are expected to move in sometime next month.
“Right now, we are looking at moving inmates over here and having it ready for them somewhere between the middle to the end of July. We don’t have a date set,” said Southmayd.
Before they move the inmates into the 52,000 square foot facility, the staff will spend the next couple of weeks of training there.
“Right now, of course, we had to hire extra jailers because this is a larger facility. So those jailers are going to be trained in stages over here prior to ever bringing any inmates over,” said Southmayd.
The sheriff says moving its 60 inmates would be a difficult process in normal times, but during this pandemic, it will be a little more challenging. He is hoping his inmates will remain COVID free.
“We have been very fortunate that we haven’t had any issues with COVID yet. I believe part of that is the screening process before they come into jail, then also the sanitation while they are in jail,” said Southmayd.
The Bee County Sheriff Department is planning on hosting an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 9 at 10 a.m.