Law enforcement requests additional items with new jail
By Daniel Arens
Although the main work on the Mercer County courthouse and jail expansion project is complete, there are still the little kinks to work out and final checks to be made. Sometimes, these last-minute items can reveal a few spot repairs (or sometimes more serious issues) that need to be addressed.
When it comes to the requests made by the county sheriff’s department at the last commission meeting March 21, that is not the case. These requests have been foreseen by the department throughout the project. However, as Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy Terry Ternes stressed, the time has come now to address all these remaining issues.
The first major concern that Ternes brought before the commission is beefing up the jail control system in the new jail housing control area. A system is already in place, but it does not cover the entirety of the jail. Certain rooms are not covered under the existing system, and Ternes felt that the time had come to include them as well.
Ternes explained that a contract between the sheriff’s department and federal authorities is being worked on concerning the housing of federal prisoners within the Mercer County jail. The agreement isn’t finalized yet, but Ternes estimated that sometime in the summer the jail may begin housing those inmates. He emphasized that the sheriff would ensure the contract called for release of those federal inmates in the areas they came from, and not in Mercer County.