Northeast Tarrant regional jail and animal adoption center nears opening

03/03/2014 3:47 PM

03/03/2014 3:49 PM

The $8.6 million expansion and renovation of the regional jail and animal adoption center is almost complete, and move-in is expected in coming weeks.

Both areas are connected to the Keller Police Department on Rufe Snow Drive and have been under design for more than a year, said Capt. Michael Wilson.

The regional animal adoption center now has 10,000 square feet of space and 30 stainless steel spaces for cats and 44 for dogs. An outdoor dog yard has easy-to-clean artificial turf to safeguard against infection and prevent the canines from digging holes or getting muddy.

Some spaces are lined with green turf on the walls, something Wilson said would help make the areas more welcoming.

“This space is functional, yet happy,” he said. “It’s not the old perception of pounds. It’s not like those sad Sarah McLachlan commercials.”

A partnership with the Humane Society of North Texas will help streamline the adoption process for the center, which also serves Roanoke, Southlake, Westlake and Colleyville.

A medical/surgical room and a streamlining of the different animal control ordinances among the five cities is still to come.

At the regional jail, final additions are being made for the completion of the project’s first phase.

The 12,000-square-foot facility has 87 security cameras, a control room with four large LCD monitors and interview rooms for DWI arrests that are separated by gender. At the front is a built-in “confessional,” Wilson said, which doubles as a secure front desk for visitors.

Another area doubles for visitation and arraignment, utilizing a speaker system rather than phones, which Wilson says prevents equipment being broken.

Wilson said the jail could be considered more of a “holding facility,” with prisoners spending less than a day there on average. Officers from the partnering cities will transport their prisoners to Keller.

Other areas include isolation cells for people suspected of carrying contraband, a padded cell, a restraint chair for aggressive prisoners and a holding cell for up to eight people.

The long-term areas have 10 cells with two bunkbeds each and one shower. A common area in the middle has three stainless steel tables and chairs with a television showing city meetings.

Wilson said officials are assessing the staffing level needed to run the facility and all other operations.

Current animal control center staff and the animals are moving into the center. The Humane Society contract starts April 1.

The jail space move will begin the third week of March.

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