Ground was broken Wednesday for the new John Lloyd “Pete” Harrison Sheriff’s Office to be located adjacent to the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center.
“Pete ran the sheriff’s office,” Sheriff Gerald Robinson said prior to county officials and others digging shovels into the soft ground.
“The detention center is named after Dub,” Robinson said, referring to former sheriff W.C. “Dub” Brassell. “So it was only fitting that this facility be named after Pete.”
When the building, projected to cost just over $3 million is completed, it will put all the various divisions of the sheriff’s department under one roof for the first time. Currently, the department’s Administrative Offices, Service and Training Divisions are located in the Jefferson County Courthouse while the Patrol and Criminal Investigation Divisions are located in two buildings in the 100 block of Main Street.
“Sheriff Gerald Robinson is a man of vision and he’s got a time line for what he wants and when he wants it,” said Chief Deputy Sheriff Stanley James. “He told me that in his third term, he wanted a sheriff’s office and he wanted to celebrate John Lloyd “Pete” Harrison.”
Robinson was re-elected Tuesday night and will start his fourth term as sheriff on Jan. 1.
Regarding the naming of the building, Robinson said he first met Harrison in 1987 at a basketball game at Humphrey High School, from which Robinson graduated, and when he applied for a job with the sheriff’s department, Harrison gave his approval.
“He prepared me for this moment and you’ve got to remember people who helped you along,” Robinson said.
Justice of the Peace Dr. Herman Ginger represented County Judge Mike Holcomb at the ceremony.
“Jefferson County has all kinds of things going for it,” Ginger said. “Thank you sheriff’s department. I’ve seen them work. They’ve come to the aid of a lot of people and this new office is going to be something to behold.”
Robinson and Major Lafayette Woods Jr., operations commander for the sheriff’s department, unveiled the new department flag that will fly above the new building when it is completed.
“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department has never had a department flag and I told Lafayette I wanted a flag,” Robinson said. “He went to work and this flag will be our symbol.”
The building was designed by the Nelson Architectural Group and will be constructed in stages, with the patrol and criminal investigation and criminal investigation divisions being the first to relocate.