This city could save more than $300K per year by consolidating jail services

Bedford and Euless are looking at consolidating jail services to save money and resources.

Euless council members are expected to vote on the agreement next Tuesday after the Bedford City Council unanimously approved a request for the city manager to move forward with the proposal.

Bedford’s Police Chief Jeff Williams told council members that it is becoming common for cities to consolidate services such as police and fire.

Bedford will save over $300,000 annually by housing inmates in the Euless jail, he said.

Under the proposed agreement, Bedford would pay Euless $650,000 per year in four quarterly installments. The current budget for the jail is approximately $939,000.

Bedford and Euless also have a long history of working together, he said.

“They always worked very well with us,” Williams said.

Bedford Councilman Dan Cogan asked about the 12 jail employees. Williams said he is helping them find positions as some are interested in becoming police officers while others want to continue as detention officers, he said.

Council members praised Williams for saving the community money.

“Communities have to cut costs somehow,” said mayor pro tem Amy Sabol.

Williams said in an email that the interest to consolidate jail services wasn’t driven by the need for additional space. Prisoners are held in the Bedford jail for a short amount of time, often less than 24 hours, he said. They are then transferred to the Tarrant County Jail.

Euless Police Chief Mike Brown said cities throughout North Texas combine resources, such as 911 dispatch or jail services, to help save tax dollars.

“This is HEB’s first foray into having shared services. As those tax dollars continue to shrink, I think you will see more cities coming together to share services. You give up a little control over jail or communications, but in return, you get a better project where not every city is completely funding a jail, and that shared cost is a little easier on all taxpayers,” Brown said.