AP NEWS

Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies could get new digs

March 26, 2019

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors could vote next week on the possibility of replacing Lake Havasu City’s Sheriff’s Department substation and Medical Examiner’s Office, as well as adding a new animal shelter north of Havasu.

The possible new facility was recommended by Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson in March. It would be located near the junction of Interstate 40 and State Route 95, about 20 miles north of Havasu and 30 miles southeast of Mohave Valley.

County staff were tasked last month with identifying the cost and potential building site of the new facilities, which would share 19,000 square feet of shared space near the intersection of SR 95 and I-40. The site would comprise 8.8 acres, which would require an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to obtain.

The complex would consist of a single building combining the new Medical Examiner’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department substation and a county animal control facility. Developing the building could cost the county about $9.7 million.

The recommendation echoes a proposal considered by the Board of Supervisors in 2014, which was eschewed in favor of the county’s new Superior Courthouse in Kingman, which was slated to begin construction last month.

“The county has been reviewing these facilities for years to find a way to bring the current facilities up to an acceptable standard for our residents,” Johnson said in his proposal to the Board of Supervisors. “By combining these facilities at a central location, we could see a saving in tax dollars … there can be no argument that these existing facilities are not up to a standard our citizens expect.”

In the past 15 years, Mohave County has replaced most of its major facilities, with the exception of the Medical Examiner’s Office and Sheriff’s Department substation in Havasu; or its Sheriff’s substation in Mohave Valley. County officials believe the time has come.

“The need to replace these buildings has been there for decades,” Johnson said. “These are substandard buildings, and the county could save money if they’re all in a single facility.”

The Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office in Havasu is the only such office in Mohave County, which operates from a leased location. The Medical Examiner’s Office has never had a permanent space in Mohave County, Johnson said. While most violent deaths throughout Arizona rely on coroner services in Las Vegas and Phoenix, Johnson says the Medical Examiner’s Office might satisfy more than just the demands of Bullhead City and Kingman in its new location.

“It would be good if we could source the Medical Examiner’s Office right here in Mohave County,” Johnson said. “There’s been an interest from other counties to use ours, with Phoenix’s coroner’s office backed up. We don’t have anything like that in Western Arizona … it would be good to have one of our own.”