BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners are narrowing in on a master plan for the public safety campus at the Sheriff’s Office, in Bend. Sheriff Shane Nelson says it’s important to be strategic about how to utilize the remaining land on the property, "Take a look at what our needs, or potential needs, will be in the next 20-30 years. And, of course, taking a look at that footprint so we can have a good, solid plan, so that you can also put money away for some of those proposals that you see coming in the future."
Nelson says with expansion and more staff, comes the need for more space, "Every time you grow, for our core purpose of public safety, you also grow in support services. And so, when you start looking at space needs – I mean, we’re going to need future space for Search and Rescue; we’re one of the busiest Search and Rescues in the state – and we have to have equipment to do that and personnel to do that."
The campus serves 911, Community Justice, Health Services, State Police and the Sheriff’s Office, including the jail. Eventually, it's also expected to be home to a crisis stabilization and stabilization center. The latest Master Plan proposal, discussed at Wednesday's meeting, includes expanding the office space of Parole & Probation and work center, building a shop for use by Community Justice and remodeling an existing building for use as the stabilization center. Sheriff Nelson tells KBND News, "We have remodeled our main building two different times and it’s served its purpose well; it’s been in place 20 years. But, as we look at future needs, we’ve got to have expanded visiting opportunities for inmates’ attorneys, as well as behavioral health folks to access inmates. So, when you take a look at this footprint, you talk with the offices and departments’ needs and kind of pencil out what the needs will be in the future so you have enough space."
Commissioners asked county staff to move forward with soliciting design RFPs (Request For Proposal), and prepare to discuss financing options in the near future.