Entire Vanderburgh Co. EMA could be headed to county jail - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Entire Vanderburgh Co. EMA could be headed to county jail

Posted: Updated:

A jail is usually not a place where you want to set up shop, but Tuesday night, the Emergency Management Agency is one step closer to moving into the Vanderburgh County Jail. County Commissioners gave their approval Tuesday night.

The plan is to move the EMA into an unused portion of the administrative wing of the county jail.

Organizers say it will save money and merge resources to better prepare the county in the case of a major catastrophe.

"It's the ideal location," said Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams. "It is very secure. We have onsite medical, we have onsite kitchen services, so we could run a recovery operation or a government recovery operation for extended periods of time."

County commissioners gave unanimous approval Tuesday night to a plan to move the Evansville Vanderburgh County EMA within the walls of the county jail.

Now it's up to the County Council.

"It's nice to know we've got their support going into council tomorrow morning because this is a win, win, win for the community," Williams said.

Williams says the jail provides a safer and more secure home for the EMA, one that will improve cooperative efforts in the case of a serious emergency.

"This will be a place that we can put government back to work in case something happens to the Civic Center complex so we can begin serving the public as quickly and as fast as we can," he said.

"Security is going to increase for us," said EMA Deputy Director Adam Groupe. "Coordination between us and the Sheriff's Office will be seamless.

Groupe says the new facility would include a backup county dispatch center, data recovery storage, and a central command center, to better organize recovery efforts outside the jail's walls.

"The better location we have with better connectivity with better outside communications, more room to work; the better we can support those people on the street," said Groupe. 

The project is expected to cost between $550- and $600,000.

The County Council is expected to vote on the funding during it's meeting Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow