As work to complete the new John Lloyd “Pete” Harrison Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is nearing an end and deputies are planning to begin the process of moving, Simmons Bank is making sure that the facility will have new furnishings to go inside it.
Thursday morning, Daniel Robinson, Pine Bluff community president at Simmons Bank, presented Sheriff Gerald Robinson with a $25,000 check that is to be used for furniture and fixture purchases.
The presentation was made in what will be the second-floor conference and training room of the building, which is located adjacent to the W. C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center on East Second Avenue.
“Simmons Bank shares a special connection to Jefferson County,” Robinson said, adding that the bank began operations in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County in 1903 and still has their headquarters here. “Few people do more for the county community than the sheriff and deputies, and this gift is Simmons’ way of saying thank you.”
Robinson, who ends his 31-year-career with the Sheriff’s Office Dec. 31 and is Jefferson County judge-elect, said that the new building, which is named for the late John Lloyd “Pete” Harrison, a longtime chief deputy sheriff, “has been a long time coming.”
Construction on the building actually began in 2012, then was halted for more than four years due to financial constraints before work restarted late last year. The county obtained an $850,000 loan to finish construction. Robinson said it has been a community effort to get the building to where it is now.
Marty Casteel, the chairman and CEO of Simmons Bank, said in a press release that “A core motto of Simmons Bank is better together, which means looking out for each other. The deputies in our home county go above and beyond every day for others and today, Simmons has the opportunity to look out for them too.”
The conference room where the check presentation was made will be known as the Simmons Bank Conference Room, and a permanent sign will be placed on the door to recognize the donation.
Robinson said deputies will start shutting down the current office in the Jefferson County Courthouse beginning next week, and the opening of the new office is “two-to-three weeks away.”
He said Jefferson County will now have a “law enforcement complex with the district court, adult jail and Sheriff’s Office all connected to each other so that the public won’t have to go to three or four dilapidated buildings to be served.”
Construction on the adult jail was completed in 2007, and Robinson said that with the addition of the new John Lloyd “Pete” Harrison Sheriff’s Office, his dream of a law enforcement complex for Jefferson County will finally be realized.