“We accepted they were doing it, and we shouldn’t have:” Wichita County Commissioners taking steps to ensure second LEC inspection passes

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WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — In June, the Wichita County Law Enforcement center hit a speed bump.

“We accepted they were doing it, and we shouldn’t have,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said.

The brand new facility failed its first inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and in the time since, Wichita County Precinct One Commissioner Mark Beauchamp wants to make sure that won’t happen again, by checking as many times as it takes.

“We’re there on-site pretty much every day walking through, making sure everything is like it’s suppose to be,” Beauchamp said. “Even more so now, double and triple-checking everything.”

Checking until it’s all just right, after failing for a select few smoke evac systems not working, which Beauchamp said now have passed a recent surprise county inspection.

Also failing for plumbing issues, that Beauchamp said comes with putting in 1,500 plumbing fixtures with electronic valves.

“We’ve required an additional level of checklist, which we’ll sign off on and give a report back to Wichita County,” Beauchamp said.

They’re taking extra steps to avoid any more surprises, from plumbing to chair height and everything in between. Judge Gossom said they need to be ready for all scenarios.

“The whole place is open to the inspection when they come back, so we can’t make that assumption that they’re only going to check what was wrong, they can check anything and we need to know anything and everything can operate in that jail to the best of its ability,” Gossom said.

And to do that, all boxes have to be checked.

“When I get that plumbing report back on the fixtures that are signed and dated with everything’s been re-checked for the fourth or fifth time, then we’ll make the call to the jail commission to come and re-inspect,” Beauchamp said.

Re-inspect and correct until it’s given the all clear.

Another issue mentioned was chair height, those are 0.85 inches over the state requirement.

But they don’t anticipate it to be a lingering problem, Hays County just went through the same issue and obtained a special waiver from the state, and commissioners are set to make a trip down August 5 for that waiver.

Judge Gossom did add if everything goes right, they hope to be moving into the new jail by the end of August.

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