The community gathered Friday afternoon for the DeKalb County Sheriff's office Building dedication to honor those who helped bring the project to life and celebrate the lives of the deputies who recently passed.
“It's a big day for DeKalb County, and it's a big day for our office, we couldn't do it without people like [Commission President Ricky] Harcrow, the county commission and everyone's support,” DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said.
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office revealed the newly named administration building, detention center and sally port, in honor of former Sheriff Cecil Reed, former County Commission President Charles Bell and Deputy Mickey Bowen.
“It's an honor to name our detention center and administrative offices after these great men,” Welden said. “The modern facilities we enjoy today are a direct result of their forward-thinking and vision.”
The two were instrumental in building the new facility. The process started back in 2001 when Sheriff Reed approached DeKalb County Commission President Charles Bell about needing a new facility. President Bell worked with Sheriff Reed closely on getting the process started.
“It's time to pay respect where it's due, and this is something we've worked on for quite a while,” said Welden.
Before the new facility was built, inmates and administrative offices were housed in the annex at the DeKalb County Courthouse. The facility had become cramped with the increasing number of inmates and staff. The jail in the annex was designed to hold only 40 – 50 inmates.
Bell, who had been elected as commission president in 1998, worked to get the new facility started until he passed away while still in office in 2001. The construction was completed, and the new facility opened in 2006. It was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office then moved to Jordan Road, where it is located today.
The sally port was also dedicated to Deputy Mickey Bowen. Mr. Bowen was the first of two in the department to die of COVID-19 complications in October 2020.