Tulare County Sheriff and Fire have new home in West Visalia

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Wednesday, the Tulare County Sheriff's Office, and Fire Department officially unveiled their new headquarters.

The county bought the building off Akers Street a couple of years ago for around $15 million.

"Sometimes it's not only your wages that you take home, but it's the place that you work," said Tulare County Supervisor Pete Vander Poel. "So it's really nice to upgrade our sheriff's department from a facility that was built in the 1950's."

Vander Poel says Cigna, the major health insurance company, occupies more than half of the building.

Their lease, he says, and any others that may happen in the future will provide an annual cash flow for the county-to not only maintain the building but also fund programs that the public safety departments depend on.

"The department of the sheriff, as well as our fire department, we are growing to meet the demands that require us to have a building such as we have behind us," said Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.

About 200 people will work on the north side of the building, including the sheriff, his command staff, detectives, plus business office and records staff.

Fire administration, as well as the new emergency operations center, are located downstairs.

"What is nice is for example, in cases of flooding, fire, major incidents, (is) that our fire component and partners are right next door," Boudreaux said. "So we can all get into one room and coordinate resources, allocate resources, decide what needs, not needs to be done."

Boudreaux says the old sheriff's headquarters will now serve as a substation, but will still house inmates upstairs.

Dispatchers will also stay there, but they'll have more space to do their jobs.
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