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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Video: Another Cuyahoga County Jail Officer Talks About Safety Problems in Facility, Fear of Jail Leadership

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 11:10 AM

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Officers at the Cuyahoga County jail have been vocal in their complaints about safety concerns at the facility in recent weeks. The concerns date back months and years, but stories published here and at Fox 8 recently have shone a light on some of the more distressing aspects impacting officer and inmate safety. Those grievances include but are not limited to faulty doors that allow inmates to unlock cells with something as innocuous as a plastic spoon and double podding (a policy that has one officer supervising up to 96 inmates at a time).

Last week, jail officials instituted a policy assigning an SRT (Special Response Team) officer to each floor in Jail II from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Officers contend that the policy not only stretches the SRT team thin but that it's simply a no-cost band-aid instead of investing the money to fix the doors.

Previously, an officer named Charles Enoch posted a Facebook video in which he talked about the situation and frustrations among officers, who he says are in fear of management and retaliation.

This week, Frank Hocker, an SRT member and union rep, shared his own Facebook video detailing much of the same. Management, he says, has taken to asking officers stationed in Jail II if they're afraid. "What you must understand is that an officer [won't say they're scared] because you're a boss, and these men and women have a sense of pride. The results [if they did] become insults — 'You can't handle your  job.' The retaliation ratio is crazy against officers; people operate in fear."

It's worth your time, if just to hear first-hand what officers go through and the simple requests they're making of the county. (He also invited county exec Armond Budish to come visit the facility himself or to reach out directly to gauge officer morale.)

"We're not trying to make management mad," he says. "Just fix the doors."

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