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County jail has new public entrance

November 12, 2012

Some days the lobby of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department may have only one or two individuals waiting patiently to speak to a deputy or to visit an inmate. Other times the lobby may be packed full.
And that’s the primary reason Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott decided to establish a new public entrance to the Clay County Detention Center, now located on the west side of the Sheriff’s Department instead of the front.
“What we’re trying to do is minimize the traffic going in down front,” Scott said. “A lot of times we have individuals who are trying to check on family members who are in jail, we have bail bondsmen, people coming in who need to see deputies and investigators – you have a big mixture down there. By moving it up here I feel like I can make it more secure because now anybody going into the jail has to pass through security measures before they go up there. Plus all those steps people had to take going through the old entrance were a bit of a problem to some so this will really help, especially our elderly.”
Friday, a brand new public entrance sign, constructed by J and K Signs of West Point, was put in place showing members of the public what door to go in to visit the jail.
Clay County Jail Administrator Anthony Cummings said he’s confident guests will appreciate the convenience of the new jail entrance.
“We’re proud of the new sign and getting it installed,” Cummings said. “Instead of coming in through the front door it makes it a little easier access to the jail to come in through the side. That way you don’t have to go around front and go up the stairs.”
Scott said not only will the new jail entrance provide more security but will allow more privacy to visitors, some who may have a serious issue and not want to wait in the midst of a lobby full of people. The new jail entrance is also more convenient to the jail staff, who often has to come all the way down to the lobby to accept items that individuals bring to inmates.
“I’m excited because this will really make things flow quicker,” Scott said. “It’s just one of the few things that we’re doing to improve.”
Soon, the Clay County Sheriff’s Department staff will begin doing additional work to enhance the look of the exterior of the Sheriff’s Department.
Lights will soon be installed around the new jail entrance sign guiding nighttime visitors to the appropriate entrance door. The door of the new jail entrance will be locked at 5 p.m. each day, so visitors needing access to the jail will have to be buzzed in by the Sheriff’s Department’s evening dispatcher. One other change is that in the past the cut off time for bonding inmates out of jail was 10 p.m., but Scott said now inmates can be bonded out at any time of the day or night.

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