DENISON, TX-After two months of renovation, the Denison city jail is about to reopen its doors. But our own Victoria Maranan got an early tour Wednesday and show us all the improvements.
The Denison city jail was built in the early 1970's and has needed major renovations for years. Now, phase one of the project has been completed. Police said they'll be able to hold inmates for a longer time and they'll also be able to go after more suspects.
Entering the old Denison city jail, you could see the paint chipping, run down plumbing and cramped and dirty conditions. But now, after two months of renovations, you can see the improvements.
Denison police Lt. Mike Eppler said at more than 40 years old, the jail desperately needed the work.
"It's just a lot of stuff and that it was old and dilapidated and just needed upgrading, replacing. We also have mattresses and blankets now when we didn't before, so there was a lot of things that needed to be done to make it to where it's habitable," he said.
The jail got a new paint job, a new fire alarm system, an improved book-in area and upgraded security in the cells. Before phase one of the project was completed, Eppler said inmates with class C misdemeanors were released almost immediately because they didn't the room to hold them.
"We would just basically cut them out pretty quick and let them come back and see the judge again and make other arrangements to pay the fine or take care of it. Now it's gonna be different, when we start serving warrants people won't be PR bonded out and get right out," he said.
Now that the jail is back open, Eppler said officers will be able to round up people with outstanding warrants and that'll start in the next few days.
"We're gonna have warrant teams that will be specifically out serving warrants. We'll be doing other stuff too but we will have at least one two-man team out on whatever day we decide to do that on that will be out day and night looking for people with warrants," he said.
Denison business owner and resident Garrett Guymon said he's glad to see the changes, especially if it improves safety in the city.
"It's good to grow as the city grows. You need to expand certain things and that's definitely one of them and safety," he said.
If you have an outstanding Denison city warrant contact the Denison Municipal Court at (903)464-4437 or drop by their office at city hall.
500 West Chestnut
Eppler said Phase 2 of the project will open more beds and it will start 2013.