COLUMBIA — Three units of the Boone County Sheriff's Department are moving to a new annex building, possibly later this month.
The department's Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Unit and the Traffic Unit will all be housed in the 14,000-square-foot building located just north of the main building at 2111 County Drive. The annex is three floors and will be shared by the Sheriff's Department and the Boone County Clerk's office, said Captain Chad Martin of the Sheriff's Department's Services Division.
- Office space for both the department's Drug Enforcement Unit and the Traffic Unit
- An office area for the department's Cyber Crimes Task Force outfitted to meet their specialized wiring and data storage requirements
- A conference room for administration meetings
- A 70-person training room
- A small exercise room with treadmills, elliptical machines and strength training equipment
- A secure basement area for evidence storage and processing
- A warehouse area for the Boone County Clerk's office to store election equipment
- A garage for processing vehicles involved in crimes
The Sheriff's Department and the clerk's office began planning the building in fall 2009 and construction started in spring 2010. Some minor complications with the construction have caused delay, but Martin said he hopes the department will be able to transfer staff into the new building by the end of March.
Currently many department employees have to share offices, and if a supervisor wants to talk privately with someone, they have to make the other person leave, he said. This leads to a lack of productivity, he said.
"We're just kind of stepping on top of each other up here," he said.
Lisa Roland, the Boone County interim treasurer, said the new building will also help with storage. Storage has been a problem for both agencies, and they've had to rent extra storage space for records and equipment in the past.
"The rates of that storage unit were going to go up so we started seeking alternative solutions," Martin said.
The project's budget was about $1.6 million, Roland said. To help pay for the annex, the county used combined funds from the clerk's office's budget, which was already set aside to pay for storage, and from the sheriff's department's Civil Charges Fund, she said.
The county also financed the project through a Recovery Zone Bond. The bond was subsidized by the federal government under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and has a 45 percent credit on interest.
"Over the life of the 10-year bond, we're getting a credit of $93,000 that we're not going to be paying. That is paid for through these recovery zone bonds," Roland said.
Major Tom Reddin of the Sheriff's Department said the annex will fill the clerk's office's storage needs and several of the Sheriff's Department's needs.
The clerk's office moved equipment into its half of the building following the fall 2010 elections, said Scott Schneider, an election assistant with the county clerk's office.
Martin said currently vehicles involved in crimes have to either be processed outside or in the sally port of the jail. Processing the vehicles in the sally port interferes with the operation of the jail, which is used for bringing in arrestees and inmates, he said. The new garage will resolve that issue, he said.
The Cyber Crimes Task Force, formerly known as the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force, has been headquartered in the attic of the Boone County Public Works Department building about 12 miles away from the Sheriff's Department, Reddin said. He described the task force's move to the annex building as "bringing them home."
Task force employees will no longer have to commute to the Sheriff's Department to process paperwork or attend meetings, and the unit's supervisor will not have to drive to the public works building to organize staff members, Martin said.
"Their efficiency is not hampered by where they are at all. They do a great job, and I don't think that'll change," Martin said.