Budget issues create security concerns at Walker County jail
WALKER COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Imagine a jail with doors that don't lock. That's exactly what's happening at the Walker County jail. Two deputies have already been assaulted because of the faulty doors. Now the sheriff is pleading with the commission to help fix the problem.
Sheriff John Mark Tirey told commissioners that not only are some of the locks not working at all, the others are easily picked by the inmates. In addition to the security concerns, Sheriff Tirey says without repairs Walker County will be in violation of federal law.
"We won't win this case," Sheriff Tirey said.
Sheriff Tirey says the community is at risk. Commissioner Dan Wright sided with the sheriff, saying when he toured the jail he actually got locked inside a cell with inmates.
"We've had two of our guys been beat up because of the issue," said Wright about the two deputies injured at the jail.
Commissions agree the jail has to be fixed immediately, however not all of the commissioners feel it's the county's responsibility to fund the project.
"You've got $115,000 Mr. Sheriff, it's in your budget to address any maintenance or repair items," Commissioner Keith Davis said.
"We allocated the money to you many months ago to fix the locks and other issues," another commissioner added.
Sherriff Tirey says it's not enough. Commissioner Wright, who is also a former law enforcement officer, agrees saying $115,000 the sheriff has won't cover the cost.
"We're looking at over $250, 000," Wright estimated.
"They're bringing a band aid, when we need to have a massive surgery to correct this problem. If I spend it all on locks and security, I'm going to be out everything else," Sheriff Tirey said.
In addition to security issues, the sheriff projects they only have two months left in the fuel budget. He says if they don't get extra funding he will be forced to park patrol vehicles.
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