Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced today the opening of the new Central Work Center, an extension of the HCSO’s booking process, on the first floor of the downtown building known as the criminal courthouse.
The new center will expand and speed up the process of booking inmates into the Harris County Jail.
The initiative means that unused space in the county’s 12-year-old Criminal Justice Center will finally be put to use on behalf of the taxpayers as well as the safety and convenience of law enforcement officers who bring prisoners to the county jail. Sheriff Garcia took office in January 2009.
It will serve two primary purposes. One side of the center will be used to prepare the necessary paperwork for inmates being booked into jail. The other side will be used for the transportation of inmates to other counties and the state prison system.
“My deputies, as well as those from other law enforcement agencies who drop off inmates, will now have a state of the art facility to conduct their work,” said Sheriff Garcia. “Every day we process 350 to 400 people through the existing facility and the challenges to accomplish that are enormous, so this new facility will help that process tremendously.”
Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos graciously secured over $16,000 for the equipment in the DWI room, which will provide the DA’s office video evidence on those arrested for driving drunk. In addition, the HCSO’s Central Work Center includes four Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) machines, 10 computer work stations for deputies, and inmate holding cells.
“The sheriff’s office is to be commended,” said D.A. Pat Lykos. “No longer will officers have to languish for hours waiting for the individuals they have arrested to be processed. They can return out on the street much sooner and be on patrol.”
The Central Work Center will open Wednesday, May 4, 2011.