Sheriff's Department moves into new digs

The Howard County Sheriff's Office has a new address. The local law enforcement agency has completed its move to the newly constructed Troy Hogue Joint Law Enforcement Center located on Big Spring's west side.According to Sheriff Stan Parker, the department — aided my inmate work crews from the Howard County Detention Center — completed the move Thursday, just in time to beat the heavy rains that sheeted the Crossroads area early Friday morning.“The move went smoothly,” Parker said. “We're very pleased with the way things went. We had 60 years of accumulated things to go through and pack up, so it took some time. However, everyone handled it very professionally. Now it's simply a matter of unpacking and getting settled in.”Regardless of how much unpacking there is to do, Parker said the local law enforcement agency is open for business and ready to serve the public.“For the public, the change represented is very simple,” Parker said. “All of the business they used to take care of with the Sheriff's Office at the county courthouse, they will come to the joint law enforcement center to take care of. And, once the police department is moved out here, the joint law enforcement center will represent the single-stop for all of Howard County's law enforcement needs.”Parker said the use of inmate labor from the county detention center saved the taxpayers several thousand dollars.“It's a pretty labor intensive process,” Parker said. “The inmates handled all of the moving labor, so the county ultimately saved at least $2,000 to $3,000 in the process, which benefits local taxpayers. Also, when the police department is ready to move their offices to the Joint Law Enforcement Centers, we'll utilize inmate labor again, saving moving costs for the municipal taxpayers.”The new Troy Hogue Joint Law Enforcement Center — located in the 3600 block of W. Highway 80 — represents a first for the immediate area, as the facility will house both the Big Spring Police Department and the Howard County Sheriff's Office.According to BSPD Chief Lonnie Smith, the police department is expected to be making the trek to the JLC sometime in mid-to-late October.