Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8 SBAAC awards boys basketball all-stars SBAAC girls basketball all-stars take home awards SHAC Winter Sports Awards Banquet set for March 12 Altman claims 170-pound district title Sirkka L Buller Arthur C Schneider Lowell G Neal Virginia M Schirmer Connie S Darling Harold L Purdin Terry E Frye Lucille Schumacher Lady Warriors roll to district finals Broncos take care of business to claim sectional crown G-Men upset MVCA to earn berth sectional finals WBHS JROTC Rifle Team competes at Camp Perry Lady Rockets finish 12-12 Season reaches end for Rockets Eugene D Ring Two indicted on major drug charges Two charged with home invasion Cincinnati airport expanding services, lowering prices in effort to compete Two sentenced in common pleas court Georgetown man hurt in car crash Robert G Miller Linda M Howland Robert E McKinney Mildred J Hodges Farrel L Amiott Patricia Brown Rick L Dye Mary E Nagel Betty Ratliff Broncos claim SBAAC wrestling title Broncos pull ahead for win over G-Men in SBAAC Tourney Ripley boys wrap up regular season with win at Lynchburg Eastern girls are sectional champs Anderson pleads not guilty to battery charge Some county offices to change locations Fayetteville prepares for Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall HealthSource hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Five sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court June Howser Marguerite A Fender Timothy D Harris Jay R Purdy Robin S Godwin Marc A Wachter Chester W Eyre Warriors blast past the G-Men, 61-40 Rockets performing well heading into post-season tournament play Lady Warriors bring home the Gold with perfect 13-0 finish in SHAC Western Brown Junior High wrestling team wraps up successful season Rockets fall victim to ‘Pack’ attack Broncos suffer heartbreaking loss to Mentor Lake Catholic in state quarterfinals Adult Education Center coming to county ‘Senior Playground’ moving forward at Georgetown park Brown County 4-H kicks off another year Eastern Middle School celebrates “Kindness Week” Billie L Shoemaker

Liability concerns over jail

In the hours following the decision to close the Brown County Adult Detention Center, inmates being held in Brown County were hustled on to coach buses and driven to the Butler County Jail, where they’ll call home until their court cases reach their end.

The Brown County Commissioner’s ruling to close the jail comes at a big cost to the county, which will be spending approximately $6,000 per day on housing prisoners in another county, as well as paying additional costs to repair vehicles going back and forth from Brown to Butler county, and paying to fix the malfunctioning jail doors that led to the county’s current situation. Overall, the commissioners expect to pay more than $1 million before the new doors are installed.

During the emergency meeting where the commissioner’s announced their decision, both Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger and Brown County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Carl Smith supported a proposal to use the Brown County Jail’s holding cells, which use a lock and key system as opposed to the air-pressure system used in the jail cell blocks.

The BCSO administration was hoping that consent from the Fraternal Order of Police and the County Risk Sharing Authority, the county’s insurance agency, would allow the BCSO a chance to house criminals arrested after regular business hours or hold inmates while they await their time in court after traveling from Butler County.

Instead, even though Smith confirmed to the News Democrat that the BCSO has received written consent from the FOP and verbal consent from CORSA, the entirety of the jail is closed until it is declared safe.

“The FOP has told us and gave us a letter in writing that they’re okay with us using the holding cells,” Smith said in a phone interview. “I talked to CORSA and got a verbal OK and they’re okay with it too, but our commissioners are telling us that we still can’t use (the holding cells). Even if we get something in writing, we can’t use them. I’m looking for some other avenues here, we’re not dead in the water yet.”

According to Brown County Commissioner Daryll Gray, the commissioners have received more legal advice from the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, and the advice has been to avoid a potential lawsuit that could cost the county even more money than is already expected to be spent.

“It’s about liability,” Gray said. “If the grievance that was written up says the whole jail is unsafe, if we start letting them use the holding cells and somebody gets hurt back there, the family of the prisoners or the correction officers possibly could come back and say you guys knew the jail was unsafe and we’re going to file a lawsuit against you. They could file it against me in my capacity as a commissioner and if by chance they lose that, then they could come back and file against me as a civil case.

“As long as they’re not using it back there, I know they can’t come and nail a lawsuit on me, or the county. I’ve got to protect the county first, and then me second. That’s my position.”

Interestingly, Gray said that the former tiff between the BCSO and Brown County Coroner’s office plays a role in his worry over a lawsuit against the county.

Due to the numerous lawsuits filed against the BCSO, BCC, and Brown County Prosecutor’s Office, Gray feels that CORSA could decide that Brown County is too risky to insure, which could put the county in real jeopardy.

So until the county is convinced that they’re immune to a lawsuit, the jail will remain closed.

One of the worries in aftermath of the jail’s closure was that if municipalities picked up a suspect on a local warrant and booked the suspect at the Brown County Jail, the municipal officer would be responsible to bring the suspect to Butler County to be accepted, which would leave the municipal police officer away from their post for at least three hours.

Luckily for the local officers, the BCSO’s policy is to transport any suspect as soon as they’re booked at the jail, even if the BCSO has to bring a road patrolman off the road to transport the suspect.

“Not much at all,” Georgetown Police Chief Rob Freeland said of any potential changes in the wake of the jail closure. “We will still transport to the Brown County Jail. The Sheriff’s department will transport to Butler Co. either that day or the next. We were already in the position of not being able to jail local Mayor’s Court charges unless it was an extreme case.”

Ripley Police Chief Harvey Bowman said that he believed the jail closure will affect his department negatively, forcing his officers to spend more time away from their post in the village.

“It hampers us a bit and adds more time to what the officer is doing,” Bowman said. “Most of the time we cite and release anyways, unless they’re a violent criminal.”

Both Freeland and Bowman confirmed that if a committee is formed to discuss options of building a new jail, they expect to play some role in the committee. But Freeland added that it’s time for the county to “bite the bullet” and pay for the necessary upgrades that need to be made.

“The bottom line is that this county will have to bite the bullet and realize that a new jail is long overdue,” Freeland said.

The Brown County Commissioners informed Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenningers and members of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office of the commissioner’s decision to close the Brown County jail.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_BCCommissionersJail2.jpgThe Brown County Commissioners informed Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenningers and members of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office of the commissioner’s decision to close the Brown County jail.
Municipalities not affected much by jail closure

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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2016 News Democrat