A dream that started a decade ago for many Knox County officials is finally becoming reality. At the September 20 Knox County Detention Center groundbreaking, Jailer Mary Hammons reflected on the long journey for both herself and her late husband, Larry Hammons.
“We’re building a new jail and we’ve needed one for a long time…when Larry was elected in 2007, there wasn’t even a jail. But he had a vision,” said Mary Hammons. “It’s taken us 10 years to get to this point and I’m so happy that we’re here. We’ve been so blessed as a family to be part of this occasion. It’s a historical moment for our county. It’s a moment my husband dreamed about in 2007 and it’s a moment that I’ve dreamed about ever since I’ve taken office.”
Also sharing in Hammons’ encouragement and joy at the groundbreaking ceremony were Judge Executive J.M. Hall, Deputy Judge Executive Steve Warren, Turkey Creek Pastor Eli Broughton, Senate President Robert Stivers, State Representative Jim Stewart, County Clerk Mike Corey and dozens of community members.
The construction phase of the detention center is expected to take 18-20 months. Once complete, the facility will hold 291 permanent beds with the option of setting up 46 temporary bed if necessary.