NORMAN — The Cleveland County sheriff's office began transferring inmates Saturday morning to the new jail on the north side of Norman.
Undersheriff Rhett Burnett offered few details about the transfer of inmates other than to confirm the process began Saturday morning.
Inmates were brought to the F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center in convoys of patrol cars.
The old jail downtown housed about 170 inmates and was often described as being overcrowded.
The county even had to pay Pottawatomie County each month to house dozens of its inmates.
“At the time of the completion of this facility, we have over 30 prisoners that were being housed at the Pottawatomie County jail,” Sheriff Joe Lester said at the grand opening of the jail in January. “So, this is going to save the taxpayers some more money, just by getting this facility open.”
A $26 million state-of-the-art facility, the new jail will have the capacity to house more than 540 prisoners. The sprawling jail is at U.S. 77 and Franklin Road. It is expected to serve the county for years.