There are yet to be any formal plans for a new Eastern York County Justice Center—but already—one former law enforcement officer is challenging York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant’s plea to build a new booking facility to serve the eastern half of York County.
Rod Benfield, who worked as a deputy for two years in the 1990s under Bryant, told York County Council Monday that building a second jail to serve Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Tega Cay is a waste of money.
Benfield instead suggested inmates be held at existing temporary holding facilities operated in Rock Hill and Fort Mill.
Bryant, now in his fifth term as Sheriff, said that simply cannot happen.
Benfield said the root of the issue — and the need for a second county-wide booking facility centers around the time it takes to process an inmate into the county jail.
Bryant said, on average, it takes an officer, trooper or deputy 30 minutes to process an inmate in to the York County Detention Center. Add to that, the time it takes to drive that suspect from, for example, Carowinds Blvd. to the Moss Justice center
Bryant said relying on existing municipal jails is not a long-term solution.
Bryant and 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett have previously suggested building a new jail behind the Home Depot shopping center on Celanese Road in Rock Hill.
Bryant said Monday opening an Eastern York County Justice Center would allow existing jail staffs in Rock Hill and Fort Mill to become county employees and work at the future facility.
The Moss Justice Center, which serves as home to the York County Detention Center, Sheriff’s Office, Solicitor’s Office and court, first opened in 1994.
Brackett said in the last decade, his case load has grown by 50 percent, calling the lack of space a, “public safety risk.”