New Tulsa City Jail To Open At Midnight
TULSA, Oklahoma - The City of Tulsa will open a new municipal jail at midnight. Police will divert low-level offenders there instead of the county jail.
The location of the jail is important because it's right above the courtrooms, so, instead of a person possibly spending a couple of days in the jail because of paperwork, they could be in and out before the day is out.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum says, "all of this is keeping with our core responsibility . . . to operate the most responsible and efficient public safety system that we can."
The jail is a City response to rising and uncertain costs of having city prisoners in the county jail.
A dispute over the cost had lingered for years, so the City remodeled a holding area into an actual jail and believes it will eventually save money, and, right away, will save time for police officers and prisoners.
Until now, whenever a Tulsa Police officer arrested someone on city only charges, they were taken to the county jail. Even for the lowest level offender, it would take an average of 90 minutes to be checked in. During that time, the officer would have to wait.
“These are not Tulsa's most wanted types. These are low-level offenders. We want our police officers pursuing violent criminals. The efficiencies that come along with this facility allow them to bring people here and then get back on the street,” said Mayor Bynum.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan says, "if you think about it, it allows us to control our own destiny."
Mayor Bynum credited city councilors with approving money to build the new jail.
On Wednesday, councilors and police officers were taking tours before the facility opens to receive inmates.
The jail can hold as many as 30 people for as long as 10 days at a time.