Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
The City of Coppell police department is merging jail operations with the City of Carrollton to house Coppell arrests in the Carrollton Jail.
An agreement between the cities, approved Sep. 11 by the City Council, stipulates that the City of Coppell pay the City of Carrollton to book, process and house prisoners arrested by the Coppell Police Department.
The Coppell detention center will close.
Coppell will pay $100 per inmate in the Carrollton Jail for the first 48 hours of incarceration, according to the agreement. For each inmate that stays past 48 hours, the City will pay another $100 for each additional day.
Additionally, the City will pay Carrollton an annual fee of $3,500 for transporting Coppell inmates to Dallas County.
Chief Mac Tristan of the Coppell Police Department estimated the Coppell police arrest about 1,000 people a year.
“This will significantly reduce our cost,” Tristan told City Council members.
With no detention officers on staff, the Coppell Police Department’s sworn officers, mostly patrol officers, were the ones processing arrests. Then Coppell 911 Communication Center employees were responsible for monitoring those in custody.
“The cost to improve the Coppell detention center and hire a full staff of detention officers would have cost more than $300,000 annually,” Tristan said.
Under the contract, Carrollton will reserve three beds for Coppell arrests “no matter what,” he said.
The agreement means more Coppell patrol officers on the street. It can take up to 90 minutes to process the paperwork and book someone into jail. With the new arrangement, the Coppell police will still write the police case report, but the arrested person will be turned over to the Carrollton police for processing.
In 2011, the cities of Carrollton, Addison, Farmers Branch and Coppell conducted a jail consolidation study to look at possibly merging jail operations to reduce taxpayer costs.
In north Texas, the cities of Keller and Southlake already operate consolidated jail operations and emergency dispatch services. Last year, the cities of Colleyville and Westlake also merged operations.
“This is one of a number of initiatives that we are exploring to be effective and efficient and looking at areas we can alter the way we provide services,” Coppell City Manager Clay Phillips said. “We’re looking at how we can work better together.”
The contract starts Oct. 1 and runs until Sep. 30, 2013, when the Council can renew the contract for another year.