County Offices To Be Moved Into Old Crawford County Jail

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VAN BUREN (KFSM) -- Besides a few last minute touches with technology, the Crawford County Sheriff's Department employees are moved into their brand new jail.

The taxpayer approved detention center is 69,000 square feet, compared to the old jail on Main Street in Van Buren, which was just 15,000 square feet.

"We have gone from an 88 bed facility to 307 bed facility," said Ron Brown, Crawford County Sheriff.

The new facility will alleviate overcrowding, a problem the sheriff's department has faced and fought for years.

"It's been a big morale booster for the deputies on both sides, from detention to the patrol deputies, to the criminal investigators," Brown said.

Now that the new center is up and running, the old jail sits empty. Plans for the facility are underway.

"The original plan, when we presented this to the citizens of Crawford County when we were advertising for a tax, is the old facility would be used to alleviate some of the crowding in the courthouse," Brown said.

The first county office planning to move in the old jail is the Crawford County Circuit Clerk's office. The office currently has 12 employees who share a small room divided by cubicles.

The old sheriff's administration building across the street from the old jail is also planned for a new use. Crawford County employees said the building has been leased to a local Van Buren business. There is no word yet on when the new leasers will move in.