Jail gets guard
March 29, 2005
The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office top brass filled the commissioner chambers as Sheriff Buddy Grinstead showed the commissioners a video of an inmate assaulting a detention officer.
Grinstead met with the commissioners Tuesday to discuss getting another deputy to work at the jail at night.
The videotaped assault didn’t occur at the Moffat County Jail. But the presentation didn’t seem necessary to convince the commissioners another deputy was needed.
Because the jail’s revenue is increasing steadily, and because it’s a safety issue, the commissioners approved hiring another deputy.
“In the interest of safety and in the interest of showing people at the jail we appreciate their efforts of adding revenue at the jail, I would certainly be in support of adding a detention officer at the jail,” Comm-issioner Darryl Steele.
The jail makes money mainly through booking fees and by charging other jurisdictions for holding their prisoners.
The commissioners and sheriff agreed that the jail likely would make $400,000 this year. Another deputy’s salary and benefits would cost about $52,000.
“We’re willing to do whatever. It’s to that point. We appreciate you guys working on it,” Grinstead said.
Last week, Jail Administrator Dean Herndon told the commissioners that current jail staffing couldn’t prevent assaults between inmates.
A former inmate, Christopher Hahs, is suing Grinstead and the Sheriff’s Office for such an assault.
In his civil lawsuit, Hahs alleges that the sheriff failed to protect him while he was an inmate. James Pogline was convicted of breaking Hahs’ jaw while both men were in jail.
Hahs and his wife say their losses in relation to the assault exceed $225,000. No one mentioned the lawsuit during the discussion.
The average inmate population for 2004 was 65 inmates a day.
This year, the sheriff projects the average population to increase to 73 inmates a day.
“My belief is it’s not only the money, it’s the safety aspect,” Comm—issioner Saed Tayyara said.
But the approval included the stipulation that if the jail’s inmate populations drops, the new deputy will be cut.