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Construction Continues As Tulsa City Jail Takes Shape

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

For the last two decades, Tulsa was the only city in the county that didn't have its own lock-up facility; but, after months of construction, that will change.

"The money that we've spent in the last six months to bring this facility up to date is really because of the change in use of it," Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said.

What was once used as a holding space for the county is now being renovated into a new 10-day lock-up facility for the City of Tulsa.

"This is part of an overall shift that we're making to operate much more effectively," Bynum said.

He said the new facility will be able to house 27 men and five women overnight.

Every shift will have three detention officers, a supervisor, and will ultimately be monitored by the Tulsa Police Department.

"The operation of a facility like this, the City hasn't done in over two decades, so this is very much new territory for us," the mayor said.

While the lock-up facility is almost finished, Bynum said they are facing some unexpected costs.

"The increase in what it will cost to operate on an annual basis, we're still working that out," he said.

Bynum said the new facility will allow police officers to quickly get back on the streets and will speed up the municipal court process for inmates.

"Once this is open, the efficiency of our criminal justice system will be much greater than it has been historically," he said.

While crews put the finishing touches on the new lock-up facility, Bynum said he is making sure everything falls into place.

"It has taken longer than maybe I would have liked on the front end, but that's been by choice because we recognize that it's so important that we do this the right way," Bynum said.

The lock-up facility is expected to open in March.

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