Sheriff Duke not worried after Law Enforcement Center fails inspection

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Although the brand new Law Enforcement Center for the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office recently failed a Texas Commission on Jail Standards inspection, officials aren’t too worried about the issues at hand.

“Any new building, just like building a house, you got issues that go on, whether it’s a small house, big house, or the size of this facility,” Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said.

The first issue at the forefront of everything is plumbing issues.

“They turned the water off to take the thing apart, put it back together, didn’t turn the water on,” Duke said.

Duke said they anticipate it to be an easy fix, they just have to make sure the water is on.

“When your car battery goes out, you take it out, put in a new one, then most people start the car to make sure it works, they didn’t do it in this case, and it’s something I’m sure as big of a facility as this, things happen like that,” Duke said.

The second issue was with the smoke evac system, which is required to alert of a fire within a certain amount of time, which Duke said they failed by a matter of seconds.

Along with it being the first time the county had to do a test like this, Wichita County Precinct One Commissioner Mark Beauchamp thinks there may have been other factors impacting the results.

“The smoke candles they taped together in order to lock in more efficiently, those smoke candles emit the smoke from the sides, so I don’t feel like we were getting the smoke capacity the smoke that we were suppose to be getting,” Beauchamp said.

A problem they don’t think will be too hard to fix, especially considering the lack of flammable materials on the jail side.

“A lot of people don’t understand, jails like this nowadays don’t catch on fire like a house on Avenue I will, you know we don’t have big fires in the jail,” Duke said.

Duke added they understand that before fully moving in, they need to get every just right, especially in a building this important.

“We’re not the only jail in Texas that’s failed the first part of inspection to get the jail certified for the jail commission, things happen, everyone has an issue, you build a building this size, it’d be like going through the mall, opening a brand new mall trying to figure out what’s wrong and there’s going to be problems, it doesn’t matter what it is,” Duke said.

Solving these problems, so they have less to worry about, for years to come.

Although Sheriff Duke said they certainly don’t want to set an opening date, he does anticipate to pass the inspection within a week, then they will assess when they can start moving inmates.

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