Citizens can view the inside of a newly renovated jail cell during an open house Saturday at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and Adult Detention Center, said Sheriff Robert Arnold.
The free open house will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office at 940 New Salem Highway in Murfreesboro. Citizens may tour the jail and Sheriff’s offices.
“We encourage all residents of Rutherford County to come out and get to know their Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Arnold. “We’ve worked hard to clean up the facility and show it to the citizens.”
Sheriff Arnold and supervisors in each division will be available to answer questions.
The nine-story tower built in 1998 and the annex built in 1986 underwent renovation during the past few years with repairs of showers, deep cleaning and painting. Inmates provided all the labor, including sanding doors, cleaned the pods and painting and tiling the showers. Push buttons were installed in some showers to save water costs.
As a result of the deep cleaning, Sheriff Arnold said staph infections suffered by inmates dropped 90 percent.
Funds for the repairs came from the general budget with a $250,000 supplement from the Drug Fund, collected from drug dealers’ money.
Maj. Tommy Thompson, who commands the Detention Center, said the open house will give citizens a chance to view the operations.
“This is a chance to see the jail without having been booked in,” Maj. Thompson said.
Detention Capt. Derrell Cagle said employees will give tours, lasting from 15 to 20 minutes. The jail tour includes booking, the kitchen and inmate pods.
In the newly-renovated annex, citizens may walk inside the jail cells.
“You can see how inmates go through day to day,” Capt. Cagle said. “You can see how a jail runs. You can see where the food is cooked and where inmates sleep and are housed.”
Sheriff Arnold said after the tour, women inmates will be moved back into the annex from the tower where they are now housed.
“We’ve worked hard to clean up the building and show it off to citizens,” Sheriff Arnold said. “Everybody who lives in this county owns this building. We invite you to bring your family and get to know the Sheriff’s Office.”