Judicial/Police-Jail Complex may become state model

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By Carol A. Clark

By May 2010, residents of Los Alamos county will be first in New Mexico to utilize a unique judicial facility in which their District, municipal and magistrate courts share the same space.

“This facility is going to benefit our citizens and I hope it becomes a model of how to do business in New Mexico,” said County Council Chair Jim Hall before major players in the project turned over shovels of dirt to officially kick off the historic project Tuesday morning.

The long-awaited ceremony took place in the lot adjacent to the police station on Trinity Drive.

The Judicial/Police/Jail Complex is the result of highly praised coordination between judges, county staff, council members, police and others.

“I’m very excited that the project is finally getting underway and I’m thrilled about the cooperation between all of the people involved in this project,” Magistrate Judge Pat Casados said.

The intent of combining the three courts into one building is to achieve cost-saving efficiencies while at the same time provide enhance service and convenience to the public. It likely will become the model for smaller municipalities where each court isn’t in session daily, which makes sharing space feasible.

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