Tulsa Criminals To Blame For Jail Overcrowding, Says Roger Co. Sheriff
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - The Rogers County jail is overcrowded and the sheriff blames criminals from Tulsa.
He said nearly 70% of those locked up right now in Rogers County are from Tulsa County.
Sheriff Scott Walton isn't very happy, calling these people thugs and warning: if you break the law in his county - he will come after you.
"This is certainly the part of the population that Tulsa doesn't want. These are troublemakers, these are career criminals and they come to take away from quality of life in Rogers County," Walton said.
The pods, cells, and even holding rooms at the Rogers County Jail are full.
It’s well over capacity with nearly 300 inmates, most of whom are from Tulsa.
“Something we don't want to see on my watch is the fact that what was uncommon and I'm talking about robberies, murders becomes common in Rogers County," Walton said.
Sheriff Walton takes it personally, having served on the streets with the Tulsa Police Department for 27 years.
Streets that he said some in his county are afraid to visit, but he makes it clear crime doesn't just happen in the big city.
"You don't have to go to Tulsa, it's coming here and I'm not trying to scare people by saying that," Walton said.
While the Sheriff is fed up with the high number of inmates, those locked up are noticing the overcrowding issue too.
“She told me it's just crowded,” said Brian Brown.
Brian Brown's fiancé is doing time for missing her drug and alcohol assessment, now serving 90 days.
“She says it's pretty packed. I mean there's at least three to four people in each cell and there's even people laying out in the commons area,” Brown said.
With no empty cells, the Sheriff wants everyone living outside his jurisdiction, especially in Tulsa to know, this:
“My direct message to a Tulsa thug is to stay out of Rogers County and apply your trade wherever you think you can get by with it," said Walton.
Sheriff Walton said the trend is crime and drugs. He often doesn't see one without the other.
He said it's sad to see so many young people locked up, with their whole lives ahead of them.