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      Sheriff says Pulaski County Jail overcrowded

      The Pulaski County Sheriff said Wednesday his department will need a new, larger jail if the county keeps growing.

      Sheriff Ron Long told KRCG 13 the county has more inmates than it has beds in its jail despite an addition completed in March. He said the county typically has 15-25 inmates being held in other counties because the Pulaski County Jail doesn't have enough room.

      "This jail was built back in 1972," he said. "Population has increased, crime has increased, and when you have 30, 40 years of an outdated facility, naturally, you're not going to have enough room to house all your inmates."

      Long said the county courthouse's lot is too small to allow any more additions. He has already converted storage rooms and a garage into jail space. The jail's structure is not designed to support a second story. He said Pulaski County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Missouri, so the only long-term solution is to build a completely new facility elsewhere in the county. Long said he would need at least 130 beds to meet the county's needs. The current facility has 75.

      "Where we're at right now, we're completely out of room," Long said. "The possibility does not exist for any more expansion where we are at."

      If the county does decide to build a new jail, Long said he would like the funding to come from a sales tax to fund law enforcement needs. Bonding is another option. In the meantime, Long said he is open to having non-violent offenders wear GPS ankle bracelets at home, though he pointed out all of his current inmates are suspected of felony offenses, not misdemeanors.