Commissioners looking at plans for new jail

Posted at 5:36 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 07:37:35-04

The City of Lansing is hoping to put the lock-up, police department and all of the courts in one spot to create a "Justice Center."

Chief Operating Officer Chad Gamble explained, "Then you create a lot of synergy, you create a lot of efficiency, you save the taxpayers money."

He told Fox 47 News the city is looking at a number of places. One of the sights we've heard of if the eight

acres on the corner of Kalamazoo and Martin Luther King.

"Certainly Lansing being the largest city in the county, there's a lot of reasons why locating that jail closer to the City of Lansing. Or, if not, within the City of Lansing makes good economic sense," he explained.

And, Gamble said it'll be convenient for the people who use it.

"We need to take a step back sometimes, and you know, try to create that, you know, customer service aspect of what we do. We're here to serve our customers, we're here to try and streamline things," he said.

But, Sheriff Wriggelsworth has his own idea.

"First of all, the sheriff has to be in Mason by constitution. Second of all, the issue of the various courts and where they're located is an issue. It doesn't save us anything on transports," he explained.

He told Fox 47 News, Lansing should build their own facility and have the Sheriff's Office run it. But, he'll keep his own jail, which would also be a new facility because the current jail is more than 50-years-old.

"We have a new kitchen here what was built 6 or 8 years ago that we can use with the new facility which would save about $5 million," he said.

That's the issue now, choosing a plan and making sure it's cost effective, a decision up to the Board of Commissioners.

One Commissioner said he expects the board to have a plan in place by the end of this year.