San Marcos approves colocated law enforcement center study

San Marcos and Hays County could potentially partner on a new law enforcement center that would house the Hays County Sheriff's Office and the San Marcos Police Department.



San Marcos City Council approved funding a study to look into constructing the new facility, which could potentially be built near the Hays County Government Center off Stagecoach Road in San Marcos. According to a letter from Broaddus & Associates to City Manager Jared Miller, the total cost of the study will be $58,360.



San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams said a colocated facility would allow for efficiencies and cost-savings.



"There will be several aspects of that building that we can share," Williams said. "There will only need to be one foyer, you will only need so many restrooms; you won't have to double those just because you have two entities there."



Councilwoman Lisa Prewitt said she agreed the city should be involved in a regional plan for law enforcement, but there were very few details available.



"We really haven't been given any type of information [such as] what does San Marcos have right now," Prewitt said. "What do we need? What do we foresee needing over the next 10 years? What would be the cost of our lease agreement if this were to be built out? There are a lot of unknowns for me. I would just like to get a little more information about what we would be entering into but I'm not opposed to a regional plan."



The city's needs assessment will be performed through Broaddus & Associates and is intended to determine what the city's needs will be relating to colocated law enforcement facilities and law enforcement training facilities. According to the letter from Broaddus & Associates and Miller, the study will also look at potentially incorporating a colocated 9-1-1 emergency response center into the new facility.



Miller said a facilities master plan could potentially make the city's FY 2015 budget, and if San Marcos decides not to move forward on a joint facility with the county, it will address its police station within that plan.



A request for $850,000 in repairs to the current police headquarters, located at 2300 S. I-35, San Marcos, has been made, he said. Those repairs would address the headquarters' HVAC system, roof, flooring and other areas.



Partnering on the project could potentially save the city money and create opportunities for "operational efficiencies" between the law enforcement agencies that would be housed in a joint facility, Miller said.



"I feel it's in our interest to at least explore the opportunity because of the economies of scale and the savings on a project that we feel is very likely anyway," Miller said. "We definitely need to at least ask the question and evaluate the opportunity."



The 12-week study with Broaddus & Associates will begin in May and is expected to be ready for presentation by August.



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