County Commissioners vote to keep Jail Trust, approve contract for Sheriff’s Office to be on reality TV show

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma County Commissioners voted unanimously to keep the Jail Trust after discussion about possibly dissolving it.

They had an executive session discussion with District Attorney David Prater.

“I think he felt very concerned about some of the things he saw but also it was just to apprise us of all of our options,” District 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan said.

Commissioners say they want to see improvements after numerous issues, including a hostage situation that a left an inmate dead.

“I think the trust really needs to step up and put a pretty big focus on safety and staffing up,” District 1 Commissioner Carrie Blumert said.

She says if there aren’t improvements, she would consider dissolving the Trust later on.

“It was my preference all along to not have law enforcement running that building, but honestly at this point I’m open to whatever can keep people safe and keep people alive,” Blumert said.

District 3 Commissioner Kevin Calvey sent a statement saying:

“I have full confidence in the leadership of our Jail Trust Chair, Tricia Everest, as we continue to improve jail operations for staff first, and also for inmates.”

Prater says it’s up to the commission and Jail Trust to make improvements. 

Another item that was approved was a contract for a production company to film the Sheriff’s Office as they apprehend wanted persons. This was met with opposition from public commenters.

“There’s so much potential harm that could be done, especially since we’re only showing arrests and pre-trial, and not following up with the steps of conviction, could hurt people’s employment and housing opportunities that could impact the rest of their lives,” Nicole McAfee, a public commenter said.

The item passed 2-1 with Blumert voting no.

Sheriff Tommie Johnson says he hears people’s concerns and that the show won’t be like their perceptions.

“We have to invest in our community unconsciously give them permission to invest in their own safety. That’s what I see this show doing. This isn’t Cops. This isn’t Live PD. This is us working together with our community building these relationships.”

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