Old jail serving as new home for Lubbock Sheriff's Office

Updated: May. 18, 2017 at 5:23 PM CDT
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New LSO Law Enforcement Center downtown (source: KCBD video)
New LSO Law Enforcement Center downtown (source: KCBD video)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office has a new home here in Lubbock.

You might have noticed the new LSO Law Enforcement Center in downtown Lubbock on Broadway Street.

KCBD took a tour of the inside of the facility on Thursday.

While this center is new, the building itself isn't. This building served as the Lubbock County Jail from the late 1970's until the new jail opened near the airport in 2010.

For the last two years the building was renovated and transformed from the old jail into this center.

"Ultimately to end up finishing this project out for what its ultimate scope ended up being, there were additional dollars that the commissioner's court ended up having to find. But we started primarily with funds that were remaining once the jail project was completed. That was about $7.5 million dollars," Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe said.

The original Sheriff's Office was built in 1931 and located on Main Street, but as LSO grew, some staff ended up in other buildings.

"Unfortunately, just given its space requirement, we were having to utilize other office space, so this gave us an opportunity to finally get everybody under one roof," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe says that has been the best part since they moved in last month.

One of the most noticeable changes is the patrol room, which used to be one small office.

"They had to share workstations. So that would elongate time there trying to get done with end of shift activities and those types of things," Sheriff Rowe said.

This center also houses the training academy with four different classrooms, the Lubbock County Emergency Operations Center, a much larger space for evidence and property storage and the crime lab, among other divisions.

Plus, the original entry for deputies to bring inmates to the jail will now be used as a court holding area.

"This will still allow us for court transfers, bring the vans down from the new jail and be able to securely hold these individuals and then utilize the existing tunnel to take them over for court," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe says as he's watched the project from the start, and he's proud of the finished product.

"Knowing where we came from, knowing the space limitations and size constraints we had - the ability to see everybody actually having room to be more effective at being able to do their jobs each day, I think that's the best part for me... They are all enjoying these new office spaces," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe says there will be a ribbon-cutting and open house for the general public to attend.

We will keep you updated once that date is announced.

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