Breaking: Monroe City and County leadership to consider alternative sites for jail

A standing room only crowd turned out at Monroe City Hall on July 27, 2021 in opposition to the proposed Church Street location of a new Walton County Public Safety Complex. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

A large crowd that turned up for a called meeting regarding the proposed location of a new Public Safety Complex at 1125 E Church Street were rewarded with some good news at the end of the meeting.

After a lengthy Resolution had been read and passed unanimously by all the Monroe City Council members present, voicing opposition to the proposed location of the Public Safety Complex, Mayor John Howard had Councilwoman Lee Malcom read a “hot off the press” joint press release by Howard and Walton County Commission Board Chairman David Thompson.

The press release noted that following a meeting today, July 27, 2021, between Howard and Thompson, both leaders committed to working together to consider alternative sites in Monroe for the Public Safety Complex.

“We know that wherever we put the jail, someone is not going to be happy, but I’m open to considering other options,” Thompson said. He had noted his reasons for considering the site on church street that had drawn such opposition. “When considering the current site behind the Government Building, my goal was to look at a site that was safe for our law enforcement, convenient to transport prisoners and keeping our government buildings located within close proximity to each other.”

However, in the press release he noted that both he and Howard understood the concerns citizens have over the current proposed site off Church Street and was “open minded” to other locations.

Each of the council members present had spoken in opposition to the jail to resounding support from the standing room only crowd that had turned up. Councilmembers Norman Garrett and Myoshia Crawford were not present.

The contents of the press release was met with resounding applause.

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