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Danville City Council considering merging adult detention center, sheriff’s office

Merger estimated to save city millions of dollars

DANVILLE, Va. – The Danville Adult Detention Center is currently the only city-run adult detention center in the state, but city council members are considering making it part of the city's sheriff's office.

City manager Ken Larking said this is one suggestion in a study done to determine how the city could save money in order to close the projected long-term budget gap.

“The cost of healthcare, our support of education, some other expenditures grow at a faster pace than most other expenditures. So likely, that’s where the gap comes from, so that’s likely where the funding would go toward,” Larking said.

That funding is estimated to be $1.3 million a year.

Information about the possible merger is scheduled to be presented to city council members on Tuesday night.

“We have to take a good look at what this means, what the impact will be to both our employees, our service level. Really, the outcomes for the inmates as well," Larking explained. "Also, ultimately the General Assembly would have to approve the amount of expenditures toward the increased amount of constitutional employees that the sheriff’s department would have to have.”

The director of the adult detention center declined to discuss what impact a merger could have on the center.

Danville Sheriff Mike Mondul said the exact impact on the sheriff’s office is unclear.

“There’s a lot of challenges, a lot of opportunities. We’ll have to work with city council if the city decides that’s the way it wants to go," Mondul said.

Martinsville and Newport News have previously merged their respective adult detention centers and sheriff’s office.

“My understanding from talking to Sheriff Draper and Sheriff Morgan, who are the two sheriffs in Martinsville and Newport News respectively, (is) that it’s been a benefit for both the locality and the sheriff’s office once it went through. Certainly, every city is unique and we would approach it that way,” Mondul said.

When city council members may make a decision about the possible merger is unclear.


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