BOONVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – As we’ve reported in the last couple of weeks, Warrick County residents could be looking at a tax increase. And it’s all in an effort to help with safety funds for the county.
Officials say with the population growth, there is an increase need for resources including better technology, personnel and in the case of Warrick County Sheriff’s Department – a newer jail.
“I think that’s what the public doesn’t realize. It’s not like, we just got a big cell block, we put our body in there, everybody’s in jail. You mean you got your responsibilities or liability, to keep them safe, keep our staff safe,” said Sheriff Mike Wilder.
He said keeping everyone safe has required a great deal of shifting and maximizing cell space.
“You have females, you have males, you have people are on the same court cases. You know, this, you know, people get in fights while are here can’t be together, we have to separate them,” said jail commander Jeremy Holder.
Wilder says they’ve run out of space not only for the inmates but for staff including 911 dispatchers. He said it’s imperative that these dispatchers have the space they need as they are not only dispatching all police, but also, all fire and EMS within the county.
“We moved them into what used to be our deputies training room, which we that already outgrown it, so we’ve now turned that into our new 911 dispatch room,” said Wilder.
Wilder says jails weren’t made to be a prison or long-term housing. But much of the responsibilities are being pushed back on them.
“Courts are backed up or these people are starting to see longer and longer stays within our jail. We never weren’t meant to be rehabilitation programs or things like that which they’re pushing on us. We’re willing to do our part. But we need the funding, and the jails and the resources,” said Wilder.
A public hearing will also take place on July 8th for those who would like to weigh in. And a feasibility study on the jail will be made public in the next month.