Tulare County Sheriff's Office, Fire Department move to new headquarters

TULARE COUNTY, California - It was a day of giving in the South Valley.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office held a grand opening for their new headquarters while giving back to kids in the community.

The new headquarters is located on Akers south of Highway 198 in Visalia.

"What this does for the county is provide an annual cash flow," says Tulare County Supervisor Pete Vander Poel III.

It was purchased by the county for around $17 million a few years ago.

They are leasing out half of the building to a tenant.

The north end of the building is now the headquarters for the sheriff's office and county fire department.

The sheriff says the old building was simply too crowded.

"It was really built for a department for about 150 people," says Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, "we have significantly grown our department, it is nearly 900 people we are quickly going to become 1000 people in the next year or so."

He says the new building will help in emergency situations by serving as a command post and improve response times.

"Instead of 7 to 10 minutes call for service we have now, based on the data and the redistricting of lines and the movement into this building, we are now able to respond to calls of service in potentially 3 minute response times," he says.

The old building in Downtown Visalia will now be called the Visalia substation and it will also house the county jail and dispatch center.

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