Granthum requests emergency assistance to solve electrical problem at jail

Published 9:15 am Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum went before the Dallas County Commission on Monday Night to request emergency assistance to address electrical problems that arose at the Dallas County Jail over the weekend.
“I wanted to come to you tonight to discuss a problem we have at the county jail,” said Granthum. “I consider it a dangerous problem and an emergency, so to speak. We have a bad electrical problem.”
Granthum said that the problems facing the jail were not caused by the storms that Dallas County weathered over the weekend.
“It’s still being determined what’s going on with it,” said Granthum. “But when I say electrical problem, I don’t mean lights flickering or anything like that. I mean doors that are controled by an electrical control panel shorting out.”
Granthum told the commission that the boxes that control the modules in the jail, which are located in the basement, began emitting sparks.
“We had a major problem with our security doors,” said Granthum. “Security doors that actually house inmates. We have a backup device, the community is safe, but there was a point were it wasn’t safe.”
Granthum said that no one could escape the jail, but that there were inmates within the jail that needed protection from other inmates.
According to Granthum, the shorted out doors were opening and closing at random, creating a security risk for the officers, public and inmates.
“Just about every door in there that was controlled electronically was malfunctioning,” said Granthum.
The Sheriff said that mechanics have disabled the electronic locking systems and that doors are now being locked and unlocked mechanically.
“This is an emergency, in my opinion,” said Granthum. “I come to you guys tonight so that you’ll declare the electrical problem at the jail an emergency. This is something that needs to be fixed yesterday… This is the safety of the community, the safety of the officers and the safety of the inmates.”
“Let the record show that I concur with the sheriff,” said Dallas County Attorney John Kelly.
Based upon the recommendation of both Granthum and Kelly, the commission recognized a motion to declare the electrical problem at the county jail an emergency and authorize the problems be fixed as fast as possible.
“I just want to thank y’all for what y’all do,” said Granthum. Y’all recognize what we need…My hat’s off to y’all… I couldn’t ask for a better commission.”
“That’s our number one goal,” said Dallas County Commissioner Roy Moore. “The public safety of this county.”

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