The downtown Metro Nashville Police Department will move its headquarters to Jefferson Street, and the Sheriff’s downtown operations will be consolidated with other correctional facilities on Metro-owned property in the Harding Place area—according to Mayor Karl Dean, Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, and Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson. Both Sheriff’s operations and MNPD headquarters are currently located at the downtown Criminal Justice Center, which was built in 1981. This represents the single largest investment in public safety in Metro Nashville history.
“This investment will enhance our law enforcement and public safety operations for decades to come,” Mayor Dean said. “We need to get started on it now, not six months or a year or five years from now. We can’t afford to wait on replacing and relocating this facility.”
The detention center at the Criminal Justice Center has often been over capacity, housing more inmates than it was designed to hold. The building’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing and elevator systems have reached their end-of-life, according to an analysis by Capital Project Solutions, which was tasked a year ago to develop a master plan for the Sheriff’s Office. The fire detection system has been inoperable for three years, requiring staff to personally conduct fire watches. Additionally, the building has been challenged with multiple flooding incidents.
“It is clear that something must be done to address the critical problems in our facilities,” Sheriff Hall said. “I am very pleased with this plan that will set up the Sheriff’s Office infrastructure for the next 30 years.”
As part of the proposal, the South Police Precinct would move from its current location at the Harding Place complex and relocate to Southeast Nashville, where population growth is occurring.
Additionally, the Sheriff’s Jerry Newson Training Center in East Nashville would close down and that property could become part of the city’s Envision Cayce project, which involves development of a more mixed-income, mixed-use community.
The proposal comes after a nearly year-long analysis undertaken by Capital Project Solutions, which concluded that (compared to renovation) new construction would save Metro Government money, give public safety operations room to grow and ultimately provide better protection to citizens.
In all, the project would total $149 million, which Mayor Dean will include in the proposed FY 2015-16 capital-spending plan that will be presented to the Metro Council on April 30. In comparison, renovations to the CJC and other facilities housing Sheriff’s operations (along with costs to temporarily relocate during renovations) would total approximately $127.5 million.
The city could recoup some of its costs by selling the downtown property in the future.
Metro also would realize $1.8 million to $2 million in annual staff savings and another $1 million in utility and maintenance savings in the Sheriff’s Office.
Construction would take approximately 28 months.