City jail now storage

Three jail cells remain in the former police
station at 109 W. 2nd Street. The building
is now used as storage.

Then: When the former Hastings Police Department building was constructed at 109 W. Second St. in 1957, a city jail was included in the design. Anyone arrested for violating a city ordinance went to the city jail, while suspects in cases involving state law were housed in the county jail.

In 1978, the city jail was deemed outmoded and outdated. In his first year as police chief, James Ruberson decided that all prisoners would be taken to the county jail. Space occupied by the former city jail was converted to storage.

Heavy steel boiler plate doors, barred windows and concrete walls are all that remain of the former jail. Holes in the walls show where beds or sink fixtures had been.

This summer, city employees pulled out many of the last remnants of the jail that could be removed. The cell shells are now used for storage by the city.

The jail included three individual cells and a larger bullpen area.

Police Sgt. Steven Murphy described the bullpen as a holding area for 10-12 men with a toilet in the middle of the room. There were no partitions or privacy. The room mostly housed drunk men waiting to sober up and be released.

To read more, see Friday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>>

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