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Newton sheriff breaks ground for addition housing office, training space
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From left are J. Terry Norris of the Georgia Sheriffs Association; Juanita Threadgill, Newton County Sheriff’s Office administrative supervisor; Alana Sanders, Democratic nominee for Newton County Commission District 3; Chief Deputy Jerry Carter; Sheriff Ezell Brown; sheriff’s Capt. Sammy Banks; Newton County Commission Chairman Marcello Banes; County Manager Lloyd Kerr; sheriff’s Capt. Keith Crum; and Rob Schulten, vice president of Barnsley Construction Group. - photo by Tom Spigolon

Newton County’s sheriff says the expansion of his office’s Alcovy Road headquarters has been needed for years after his workforce more than tripled in size since 2004.

Sheriff Ezell Brown hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, June 30, for a 10,000-square-foot addition to Newton County Sheriff’s Office headquarters in Covington. 

The space is needed to alleviate overcrowding in the 16-year-old facility, the sheriff said.

The $2.9 million addition to the headquarters is funded by the 2017 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. It will be added to the front of the existing 145,000-square-foot building and include 7,000 square feet for administrative offices and 3,000 square feet for a training center, officials said.

The current headquarters building was designed for about 100 employees but now houses about 300, including 150 deputies, said Chief Deputy Jerry Carter.

The site also is the location of the county jail, which has a capacity of about 700 inmates but currently houses about 300 because of such factors as other agencies housing Newton inmates because of COVID-19 safety concerns, Brown said.

Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriffs Association, told the group attending the event he was happy Newton County residents elected leaders who “come together for the people” when projects like the sheriff’s office expansion is needed.

Officials with Barnsley Construction Group said they expect a February 2021 completion.

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An artist's rendering of the building expansion was on display at the groundbreaking event - photo by Tom Spigolon