Nearly one year after the construction project began, the Page Detention Center officially opened its expanded facilities last week, including a dedicated video courtroom, a training conference room, additional parking and more office space.
“But more importantly, what it provided was more security for this community,” Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 13.
“We have an enclosed sally port. … This provides safety for inmates being transported in or out of this facility and for arresting agencies to have a more secure facility in a way of bringing people into the jail. We have perimeter fencing now, with security access, which we never had before. We have additional video surveillance around the entire facility.”
The expanded detention center now has 48 beds and is designed to be a 72-hour holding facility. After inmates are held at the center for a day or so, and have had their initial court appearance, they are transported to Flagstaff where they are held longer term.
Construction on the expansion began in November 2020 with Kinney Construction Services. The cost of the expansion was $4.2 million, with funds coming from an excise tax paid by everyone in Coconino County, including residents and visiting tourists.
Driscoll said the expansion was “a long time coming,” but funds were not available until recently.
“This first part of this facility opened in 2000. Since that time, we’ve grown, we’ve had new programs develop and we outgrew our facility. So, several years ago we began this process, and what you see is what we have today,” he said.
Driscoll also highlighted the ways in which the detention center benefits Page.
“To have over 100 workers in this community working here helps our local economy and the Page community,” he said.
“We have a higher level of safety and security for managing our inmates as well. … All these security enhancements make it safer not just for our staff and arresting agencies, but actually safer for our entire community.”