By Katie Garcia - July 10th 2024



A month after they began moving into their new building, Rock County Sheriff’s Office staff say they’re settling in and enjoying the abundance of windows that flood offices and common areas with natural light, and the improved working conditions provided by clean and functional office, common and meeting areas.

On June 12, they began moving out of the century-old Pinehurst building, that’s still visible through some windows. It will eventually be torn down to make way for a new staff parking lot. Sheriff’s office staff say it was crowded, old, lacked adequate security and lacked good building flow, with inmates and members of the public needing to be taken through their work areas for conferences and other activities.

“We do feel a bit more safe and secure over on this side and the garage bay is a huge bonus for our guys in the winter and the summer. We used to have to wait almost 15 minutes just for our computers to turn on because it’s too cold or too hot,” Captain Caleb Beutin said during a tour Tuesday.

Cost and completion timeline

The project cost $96 million and includes 200,000 square feet of new and remodeled spaces, including the new sheriff’s offices and adjacent jail renovation and expansion that remains under construction. The entire project is expected to be done by the spring of 2025.

Upgrades and amenities

There are many new technology upgrades. For instance, when patrol vehicles enter the garage, camera footage from the vehicles is instantly uploaded into the cloud.

A new public lobby with tall windows and comfortable seating includes private interview rooms, something the old building lacked entirely. The lobby is open every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Meeting rooms are equipped with projectors and cameras facing the front and back to allow conferences to be recorded and live streamed.

“The technology upgrades have definitely been a long time coming, just bringing us up to the 21st century,” Captain Christopher Krahn said.

Historic photos

Lining many of the hallways are historic photos of vehicles, buildings and employees from the sheriff’s office's history. Captured in at least one is former Chief Deputy Terry Fell, current Sheriff Curt Fell’s father. There’s also a photo of the former jail on Water Street in Janesville.

Krahn, who has worked in recreational services, said “it’s cool to see the old boats and how far we’ve come with the new boats. It’s pretty cool to see the history.”


 The facility is designed to improve efficiency by consolidating different units and services that were previously spread out. For instance, the detective bureau used to be separated with one group upstairs and another downstairs. Now those staff members are together with a shared bullpen style layout surrounded by offices, conference rooms and natural light from the courtyard.

“Now we have an open conversation whereas before we were separated; that was a big barrier. Those simple conversations not only help us here, but also when we’re getting information from Beloit, Janesville and the other smaller communities,” Captain Matthew Jacobson said.

The former building only had one conference room; now the detectives have their own.

“We’re appreciative of the county for allowing us to have something like this. We tried not to be too extravagant or anything but we’re very proud of how this came out. It’s made a big difference in people’s approach when they’re coming to work,” Fell said.

Room to grow

The new building allows for future growth and expansion. A storage room has space for radios, cameras, flashlights and other equipment — now and going forward.

With new technology, deputies are more easily able to debrief with the south station at Blackhawk Technical College, Fell said.

“Now they’re actually up on TV monitors and they can see the same information we’re looking at... instead of talking over the phone,” Fell said.

Real-Time Operations Center

A Real Time Operations Center is still in the installation phase, with equipment being set up.

Designed as a place to monitor major events, it includes a two-tiered station with clear views of a TV on each side of the room and eight screens in the front. All can be configured as individual or multiple screens displaying live video and audio.

“This is going to be a significant help to use when we do major operations in the future, that we never had the capacity to do before,” Fell said.


The improved evidence storage and processing facility allows deputies and correctional officers to more safely process drugs and other evidence, with more and more modern storage and “a set up that helps with fumes,” Fell said.

“The evidence is now all in one location. It’s a lot more efficient and provides better means for us to be able to track and take care of those things. We’ve done inventories for evidence that’s taken three days and now they’re able to do it within a day,” Fell added.

New emergency management and law enforcement training areas can be easily used for the public gatherings as well, such as hunter safety classes, without compromising security. There are also several breakout rooms, a padded training room and a training and ceremony room for staff.

Coed locker room

A coed locker room has large lockers, eight private shower rooms and eight private dressing rooms.

Off the locker rooms is an L-shaped wellness room with cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, a heavy bag on chains and walls lined in mirrors.

“We definitely have run ourselves into the modern era and it’s already helping with some retention aspects recruiting wise,” Fell said.

A large break room has plenty of seating, two microwaves, two refrigerators, an ice machine, a stove and coffee maker. In the old building the entire staff had one table to share.

“We’re also getting a fresh market station so people can grab fresh fruit and vegetables as they work,” Krahn said.

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