Scott Co. Sheriff’s office on the move; new jail should open by December

Chuck Kajer

Managing Editor

The long process of building a new jail and law enforcement center in Scott County is nearing an end.

Last week, portions of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, including the Sheriff and deputies, moved into their new offices in a $34.5 million, 159,000-square-foot building just north of the Scott County Government Center, at the intersection of Fuller Avenue and Fourth Street in Shakopee. Construction began in the fall of 2003.

While the sheriff’s offices are nearly complete, the jail and dispatch centers are still getting finishing touches. Bonnie Case, jail administrator and the county’s lead official on the construction project, expects most of the operations to be in the new building by December 1.

While the new building features modern offices with room for expansion for the sheriff’s office, the key component of the new building is the county jail. The county has been trying to address inadequate jail facilities since the 1980s, and the need became urgent in 2000, when the Minnesota Department of Corrections condemned the current facility. The county was given a permit to use the facility until September, 2004, and extended that while the new facility was under construction. Even with the waiver, the old building didn’t come close to filling the growing county’s needs for prison space.

In addition to the 40 beds at the Shakopee jail, the county leases 15 beds at a privately run prison in Sauk Centre, 11 at the Meeker County Jail in Litchfield, 22 at the Carver County Jail in Chaska and two at the Sherburne County Jail in Elk River.

Not only does it cost us money to lease these beds

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