The Oklahoma County Detention Center has a serious bug problem, but who is responsible for it depends on who you ask.
Administrators said part of the problem is the sheriff’s department did next to nothing to combat the problem.
The bulk of the problem starts with the kitchen of the facility and a huge infestation of cockroaches.
Those roaches then make their way up to the floors where inmates live.
“One of the first things we observed real quick was we had a lot of bugs, especially in the kitchen,” jail administrator Greg Williams said.
Jail administrators said the problem has been festering for years because it has been largely ignored by the Sheriff’s Office.
Documents provided by the Jail Trust show the sheriff’s office spent just a few hundred dollars treating the problem with store bought remedies.
“In April of 2020, they spent $245 on some bedbug and some aluminum flashing at Home Depot,” Williams said. “But that is the only expenditure that this document shows in 2020.”
Documents show less than $800 spent in 2019 on pest control.
“The last time that there was a professional exterminator was in 2018, July of 2018, and that was some pretty significant money spent for extermination services.” Williams said.
“At a time where the Trust is having an outbreak of COVID-19 within the jail and attempting to contain the dangerous virus, one would think they’d focus more on the safety of their inmates than misinforming the public regarding bed bugs,” a statement from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said. “The Trust has operated the jail for nearly a month, and still have not addressed the pest control issue. There are plenty of pest control companies they could call instead of deflecting from their failure to address the problem while trying to shift blame.”
“There’s a lot of issues that need to be addressed and we need to find priorities and prioritize stuff.” Williams said.
The detention center is interviewing exterminators right now, but it’s going to cost thousands of dollars to fix this mess.