Adams County Sheriff propose budget toward new Justice Center

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:28 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The up-and-coming Adams County Justice Center, approved by voters in 2020, had a few delays with budgeting and from COVID-19. Tuesday, during the Adams County Board of Commissioners meeting the members made some progress with the project.

The building, which will house a jail, four courtrooms and attorney offices, was originally set to open in July 2023, but with a few setbacks along the way, the county is unsure when exactly the facility will open.

Adams County Sheriff John Rust spoke during the meeting Tuesday to propose a couple of budgets aimed toward the new Justice Center. Rust said the department is starting a couple years out for a reason.

“It usually takes about a year in order to train a deputy, hire, advertise, hire and train them to get them ready to go into positions,” Rust said.

Upon approval, Rust added they were looking to hire four new deputies and four corrections officers from this budget. Along with the new hires, he said there’s a need for new equipment and vehicles as well.

“It’s going to increase the population of jail, which will also require additional staffing to run the facility,” Rust said. “Because of that we need to have new jailers being hired and trained to have everybody ready to go.”

Rust said the sheriff’s department had plans for when they’ll begin the process of hiring new staff if the budget gets approved.

“Hopefully as soon as possible. We’ll have to advertise and then go through the testing process for the deputies, we then have to get them into the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center to complete basic training.”

Following the training Rust said, in total, the advertising and training process for deputies typically takes around a year. He planned to propose more budgets for the Justice Center at the next board meeting.

Additionally during the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, they also approved a $49,000 civil engineering budget for the construction of the facility.

The board added that each week they’re seeing increasing costs with the project, putting a delay on the new center as a whole.

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