Showing off the new home of justice in Polk County

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Open house for recently-opened law enforcement center to take place on Thursday

COLUMBUS — After moving into the facility last month, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office will invite the public to view its new jail and law enforcement complex on Thursday afternoon.

The open house and ribbon cutting will begin at 4 p.m. Personalized tours will be from 4-6:45 p.m., and the ribbon cutting will take place at 7 p.m.

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Light refreshments will be served until 7 p.m., with a cake following the ribbon cutting.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright will be the guest speaker. The new law enforcement center is located at 880 E. Highway 108, Columbus.

“We are continuing to get settled into our new offices, but are very happy with how things are going, and anticipate our inmates will be moved over sometime next month,” said Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill. “This, of course, has been a project that has taken time to complete, but also has been a joint effort between our elected officials, county employees and citizens. We hope that everyone can come out Thursday to tour our facility, as we are very proud of it, and look forward to celebrating our ribbon cutting with our friends.”

Construction of the new law enforcement center and jail began in December 2016 to replace the former complex, which was constructed in the early 1970s.

The new law enforcement center is much larger, with more than double the amount of inmate beds. The former jail housed 25 inmates, and only men, while the new jail will house 60 inmates, including men, women and juveniles.

The county expects to move inmates to the new jail in August.

The former jail faced many issues, including mold and leaks from inmate showers and toilets.

Polk County took out a $13.5 million loan to construct the new law enforcement center. The loan is being paid for through a 2-cent tax increase during the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The county did not raise taxes the 2017-2018 fiscal year or this year, which began July 1, to pay for the new law enforcement center.

Polk County purchased just over 21 acres of land to construct the new law enforcement facility, with plans in the future to possibly also house a new courthouse and county government buildings, when needed.