Law enforcement facilities offer diverse contracting opportunitiesThroughout the country, many critical and long-overdue law enforcement capital projects are underway. Most of the projects are a result of either regional growth or dilapidated facilities that are in dire need of replacement.

However, along with the construction aspect of these projects, there are all kinds of other contracting opportunities. Many new technology offerings for law enforcement facilities offer benefits that include more efficiency, greater safety, and less costly operations. The projects will offer contracting opportunities that include all types of professional services, engineering, land development and equipment purchases.

Here are a few examples of the types of opportunities planned in the very near future.

South Dakota
Lincoln County Commissioners have approved spending $1.4 million for 155 acres that could be the location of a new public safety center. Citizens will vote in November on a $50 million bond to build the public safety center. Commissioners want the new facility to include a jail, courtroom space, and law enforcement offices. The bond also would provide funding for repairs to the county’s courthouse.

The Rolling Meadows Police Department has a critical need for a new video system. Officials say that it is needed for safety of both the prisoners and the guards. Additionally, the system is needed because the images and sound captured will be watermarked and can be used later when necessary as evidence in court.

Officials in Ada County plan to expand the existing county jail and build a new coroner’s facility at a cost of more than $80 million. The $38 million jail expansion will ease major strain on the current facility, and it will allow for the county’s rapid growth. Upgrades will include an expansion of 294 beds, a larger kitchen, booking space, and a new transfer area to accommodate 800-plus inmates. A completion date of mid-2023 is projected. The coroner’s facility will be located on county-owned property in Meridian and will replace a facility in Boise that was last updated in 2002.

Flathead County has plans to build an $86 million detention facility. The new facility will be designed to accommodate 260 beds for prisoners as well as a sector for the sheriff’s department. It will be located on property to be purchased, and the project’s cost estimate does not include land costs. A jail study has been completed that outlines future operational needs.

In 2021, officials in Shelby County plan to begin converting the Women’s Building, a former housing unit, into a Corrections Training Academy at a cost of $787,500. The project includes six Shelby County Division (SCD) training staff locations, a dedicated classroom, conference rooms, gym, and kitchen area. At a cost of $900,000, the Corrections Women’s Building will receive a roof replacement which is necessary for the ongoing viability of that facility. An additional $375,000 will be spent for a kitchen storage unit to accommodate freezers and dry goods.

Gibson County officials point to a state study that states the needs of the existing jail.  Specifically, more inmate beds and more resources are required. County officials are faced with either expanding the current jail facility or constructing a new one. A site is being sought for a new county jail that will have a 288 bed capacity. The new facility will house the jail, sheriff’s office, dispatch, and a community corrections unit. Cost of this project is estimated at $38.9 million.

Almost all upcoming contracting opportunities of this type are outlined in detail in planning documents available locally.

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Mary Scott Nabers

As President and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., Mary Scott Nabers has decades of experience working in the public-private sector. A well-recognized expert in the P3 and government contracting fields, she is often asked to share her industry insights with top publications and through professional speaking engagements.