Oklahoma County officials face tall order with jail proposal
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Johnson said she believes citizens who have been asked to pay for various upgrades to downtown can be asked “to up some money for their safety.” Certainly they can. But those other projects have tangibly improved the quality of life in the city. Folks see and use the canal or the ballpark or Chesapeake Arena. The county jail isn't something most residents ever have to concern themselves with.
And yet, pressure from the feds ensures that a new jail of some sort is in our future, sooner or later, and the people will have to participate in that change. Sheriff John Whetsel says this isn't about making the jail “nicer for inmates,” but instead is about coming up with a building that's safe for guards and jail employees. That's not hyperbole; the crowded conditions and structure of the current jail can be hazardous.
The challenge ahead — convincing county voters to foot the bill — is enormous and rife with possible pitfalls. Sort of like the jail itself.
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