The two cities agreed to a one-year partnership for Burleson to use Mansfield’s jail, 1601 Heritage Parkway, starting in October.
“Mansfield has a lot of experience in the jail, handling Fort Worth prisoners for a long, long time,” Burleson Police Chief Billy Cordell said. “They’re obviously good at what they do.”
The move comes as Burleson police move to a new facility in October that does not include holding cells. Cordell said his department considered the time it takes to transport short-term inmates versus processing and handling prisoner obligations themselves and it balances out.
Burleson will pay Mansfield $168,075 annually from its general fund for the service with the potential for additional costs for added guard services. The amount is fixed calculated by the estimated amount of inmates and their stay time. If the contract does continue there will be an annual 3 percent escalation.
Burleson joins the cities of Forth Worth and Kennedale in using the facility. Mansfield Police Chief Tracy Aaron said the jail, which on average has a population of 300 inmates, was built with regional functionality in mind.
All inmates in the Mansfield Jail are pre-trial and Aaron said most stay up to three days. Burleson expects its inmates to spend 1-and-a-half days on average.
While the contract ends Sept. 30, 2016, it will automatically renew for five more one-year options unless canceled.
Cordell said the city is looking at future options and has considered building its own facility with holding cells, but added the inter-local agreement is the best option for now.
“Obviously it’s expensive to build a holding facility,” he said. “That’s a financial consideration.”
Burleson originally wanted to partner with the City of Crowley, but that did not work out, Cordell said.
“With the continual rising cost of doing business whether medical expenses or expenses in general, any time we’re able to grab another partner to help us offset some of those costs it just make sense,” Aaron said. “At the end of the day a city like Burleson, they’re not on the hook for 100 percent of the costs and we’re not on the hook for 100 percent of the costs so we both end up with a better service at the end of the day.”
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770