Sheriff Billy Long said he favors a plan to move the sheriff's department out of its downtown Chattanooga quarters at the City-County Courts Building.
He said a move to the sheriff's department annex on Dayton Boulevard would allow all the sheriff operations - except corrections - to be together.
Sheriff Long said it also would free up space for as many as 200 new jail cells at the overcrowded County Jail.
He said he has been meeting with County Mayor Claude Ramsey and County Commission members on the proposal.
The sheriff now has offices on the ground floor (basement) of the Courts Building.
Sheriff Long said, "The best part is freeing up the jail space. We don't have to build a new building."
He said his current space could possibly be the jail intake area and would include holding cells.
Regular lockup space could go in place of the current intake area and holding cells at the County Jail.
An underground tunnel leads from the Courts Building to the Jail.
Sheriff Long said a move to Dayton Boulevard would also make the sheriff more accessible.
He said, "If people want to see their sheriff, they should be able to."
It is now difficult to get to the sheriff due to all the security precautions at the Courts Building, he said.
Sheriff Long said the county records department now takes up about two-thirds of the annex. He said there is discussion about finding another building for the records.