Pierce County Sheriff's Foothills Detachment finds new digs

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By Teresa McCallion

The Courier-Herald

They aren't quite unpacked yet, but the Foothills Detachment of the Pierce County Sheriff's office is open for business at the corner of 214th Avenue and 112th Street East. The sheriffs moved at the end of January from their former location near Safeway on state Route 410 East.

Although the new space is 400 square feet smaller, there is more usable space and it provides a place for secure storage, explained Sergeant Sherm Voiles.

The county purchased the 3.6-acre land for $460,000 by borrowing from the county's "rainy day fund," Voiles said. Previously, the department had been leasing space at the shopping center for $4,400 a month.

The land also includes a residential home, which the county will parcel and sell. According to Voiles, only emergency services can accomplish the kind of rezoning it takes to parcel property. The money from the sale will be put back into the rainy day fund.

Depending on what the house sells for, the net cost of purchasing the land would be approximately $240,000. Voiles estimated that balance will be paid off within five years using the money that had already been budgeted for the leased space.

"It all worked out pretty well," he said.

The new office is housed in a building that had served as a church, but has been vacant for some time.

The space required some remodeling. Several offices, a break area, temporary evidence room and a large work area for deputies have been constructed.

The space will be shared with the Department of Corrections several days a week. A separate lobby window and office have been added.

A three-to-five year plan includes adding a secured storage area and paving the parking lot. Eventually, the county will add a primary entrance off 214th Avenue, something Voiles hopes will happen this year. At present, the sole entrance to the parking lot is off 112th Street.

The most immediate project, Voiles said, is to install central heat and air conditioning.

Twenty-three commissioned officers work out of the Foothills Detachment, including three sergeants.

The lobby hours for the sheriff's new office have not changed. They are open 8:30 to 11 a.m. and noon to 4:30 p.m.Monday through Friday.

Mattress Masters is moving into the spot the county vacated.

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