City of Florala considers re-opening jail in city hall - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

City of Florala considers re-opening jail in city hall

Police Chief Sonny Bedsole Police Chief Sonny Bedsole

Buford Lee is among the natives in Florala who supports there-opening of the old jail even though Lee himself says he spent a fewdays in it a long time ago for DUI.

"They should re-open it," said Lee. "It makes sense to me."

Re-opening the city jail is something Police Chief Sonny Bedsoleis pushing for. Today, the vacant, dark cage is located in the back of cityhall.

"It's a safety issue," said Bedsole. "We want to keep ourofficers here in town."

It's estimated that it will take between $60,000 to $80,000 torenovate the old jail and bring it up to code. The jail hasn't imprisoned aninmate since the mid-'90s.

Chief Bedsole says it makes sense on paper; saving the city moneydown the road by not having to transport inmates to the Covington County jail,which is almost 30 minutes away.

"We currently pay $31 a day, and that's something we'retrying to work on," Bedsole said.

There is also another reason. Bedsole says at least one person intown owes $8,000 in traffic fines. The chief is counting on a newrefurbished lock-up on being an incentive to pay up!

"Once we lock you in, you don't come out until someone bringsa key," Chief Bedsole said.

Chief Bedsole had no idea where city leaders will come up with themoney. The mayor told WSFA 12 News that's something they're looking into.

Will the town of Florala resurrect a bit of itsown history? The city council is expected to vote either way in April.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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