To the editor:
I would like to encourage all eligible Dallas County residents to go to the polls May 2 and vote YES to approve the county bond referendum for the purpose of constructing a new Dallas County Jail and Law Enforcement Center.
When I came to Perry approximately 20 years ago, the population of Dallas County was less than 40,000 persons, and the city of Perry was the largest town in the county. Currently, the county population is estimated at more than 80,000 persons.
With the positives of the growth the county has seen also comes the proportional need for additional law enforcement and correctional services.
Unfortunately, the current Sheriff’s Office and Jail is not a viable option for expansion in its current location. The construction of a new law enforcement center and jail will reduce the long-term costs associated with the transportation and housing of Dallas County inmates in surrounding counties while ensuring their court appearances.
Not only will the new facility have more bed space, but it will also house a courtroom for initial appearances. This will reduce the amount of time and manpower needed to move prisoners to court while maintaining safety and security of all parties.
Without this needed new construction, the daily costs of holding prisoners will continue to rise and will become an increasing burden on the county’s general funds used to pay for these obligations.
The approval of this special bond will free up funds to be spent on other beneficial services that Dallas County provides, such as mental health care and substance abuse programs, that could have an overall positive effect on reducing future recidivism in our inmate population.
Please consider voting Yes on May 2. If you would like additional information in order to make an informed decision, visit www.dallascountyvote.com.
Chief Eric Vaughn, Perry Police Department