GREENSBURG — The St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office will receive $190,000 in state capital outlay funds for new evidence technology and renovations at a Sheriff’s Office facility on North Second Street.
The money will be used to renovate an old parish health unit building off North Second Street near La. 43 that the Sheriff’s Office is using to house some of its divisions. The parish Police Jury in November approved Sheriff Nat Williams’ request to use the space.
The money will fund renovations for a new radio control room for taking calls and booking offenders, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Thursday at a news conference at the Sheriff’s Office.
The new radio control room will house new computers and software to help first responders speed up their response times, Jindal said.
The money also will be used to furnish a new evidence room with a barcode scanning system to organize evidence, as well as new surveillance cameras for the facility.
The state Bond Commission approved the money Thursday, Jindal said.
“The evidence room and the new radio control room will allow the Sheriff’s Office to conduct more efficient investigations so we can make sure criminals are not roaming our streets,” Jindal said.
The Sheriff’s Office used to house everything in a smaller building off Sitman Street near the old parish health unit building. The Sheriff’s Office still uses the Sitman Street facility.
State Sen. Bodi White, a Republican whose district covers part of St. Helena Parish, said he had been working with Williams for two years on plans to modernize and expand the Sheriff’s Office’s facilities.
White said the Sheriff’s Office passed all the audits necessary to receive the money.
He said the parish’s jail is certified to house state Department of Corrections inmates if necessary.
“It’s a great opportunity to modernize this facility for the citizens of St. Helena Parish,” White said of the funding.
Williams said the money also will help create a sally port at the Sheriff’s Office for safe transportation of prisoners.
The planned renovations are “bringing the communication forward for our first responders,” Williams said.
State Police will be able to use the new resources as well for any investigations they may need to conduct in the parish, Jindal said.