- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

CAMERON, La. (AP) - The new Cameron Parish jail is almost ready to replace the 76-year-old jail in the parish courthouse, and the building includes new headquarters for the sheriff’s office.

The state fire marshal will inspect the building next week, Parish Administrator Ryan Bourriaque told The American Press (https://bit.ly/1HJhhRq ). The fire marshal must sign off before the department can move in.

The current jail in the parish courthouse holds up to 32 minimum-security inmates. The new jail can house up to 50 inmates, including youth offenders and maximum-security men.

Sheriff Ron Johnson says that once all his staff moves in, it will be the first time since the 1980s that every Sheriff’s Office division is under one roof. The new building will house the sheriff, chief deputy, detectives, 911 dispatchers, criminal records, tax collector and the parish Office of Emergency Preparedness.

“The work is going to be a lot more efficient,” Johnson said. “It will be easier to communicate. I’m sure it’s going to be quite a transition, but when we get settled in, it’s going to be a lot better.”

Some offices have operated out of modular buildings since Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, he said.

“There were some antiquated aspects in the courthouse and jail that needed to be addressed,” Bourriaque said. “I think when federal funds presented themselves in recovery dollars, at the time it made sense to construct the facility.”

Bourriaque said it cost just over $12.7 million, including architectural fees, furnishings and grant administration fees. Community Development Block Grants paid for just over $10 million, with another $2.3 million from Cheniere Energy’s prepaid taxes.

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Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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