OKLAHOMA CITY — The troubles at the Oklahoma County Jail continue.
Officials say a detention officer was fired this week for bringing drugs and firearms onto the premises.
Another employee was fired over the weekend in connection with a detainee suicide.
Opponents say it’s an example of the mismanagement that continues at the Okla. County Detention Center but Jail officials say it’s a great example of the clean up process that is taking place.
“We routinely search incoming staff and vendors as part of our protocols, and last night we were able to discover evidence of misconduct and introduction of contraband.” Said Head Jail Administrator Greg Williams.
Jail officials say 27 year-old Regan Widener was caught with an illegal cell phone Tuesday night. After questioning she allegedly admitted to delivering packages of drugs to an inmate for $2,000.
A search of her car reportedly turned up marijuana, a loaded handgun and a digital scale.
Widener was immediately fired and booked into the jail on multiple charges.
“The introduction of contraband is a huge problem in this industry. We are very aware of that and we are taking active actions to prevent introduction of contraband.” Said Williams
Widener is the second employee fired in less than a week.
Over the weekend, another detention officer was terminated and could face charges, after he failed to check on an detainee who ultimately committed suicide.
“Part of that investigation revealed that that officer was not following protocol and not doing site checks as they were required to do.” Said Williams.
“If this isn’t getting our attention, I don’t know what is going to get our attention?” said Sean Cummings.
The jail reform advocate says the recent firings are examples of jail trust management failures after taking over for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office.
“The former sheriff used to have a drug dog by the front door and if you knew there was a drug dog you don’t bring contraband in. Nothing is changing, if anything, it’s gotten worse. I think that’s fair to say.” Said Cummings.
But jail officials say this is proof that steps are being taken to make the jail better.
“We are going to hold staff accountable to follow policies and procedures and do what they can to keep people safe and when that’s not done, we are going to hold them responsible.” Said Williams.