Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian is continuing to pursue the creation of a regional lockup facility for cities and towns within the county, despite Gov. Deval Patrick decision to veto $1.5 million in state funding for the facility's construction.
Koutoujian originally requested that his office carry over the $1.5 million remaining in supplemental funding it received last year into the new fiscal year, the Sentinel and Enterprise reported. That funding was included in a $40 million supplemental budget bill that Patrick vetoed.
In an Aug. 14 press release, the Middlesex Sheriff's office announced that it had reached an agreement with legislators in the Executive Office of Administration and Finance to use capital expenditures instead to fund the $1.5 million project that would create a regional lockup facility through the renovation of a wing of the Billerica House of Corrections.
"Securing funding for the regional holding facility was a team effort that included every police chief in Middlesex County," said Koutoujian in the press release. "A regional lockup will help save local departments money and allow them to take officers off prisoner watch and put them on community watch.”
Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo said that chiefs chiefs from all 54 cities and towns in Middlesex County wrote a letter to legislators in support of Koutoujian's request.
Chief Ferullo said Tuesday that the regional holding facility "will provide a much needed resource for detainees, as well as serve to further enhance the successful relationship between the area police departments and the Middlesex Sheriff's Department."