Gan Matthews, News 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- It's the largest and the most expensive building ever built in Cleveland County. It's the new $24 million jail. That jail will require more personnel than before, and that's a matter of money too.
The new jail will hold twice the number of prisoners as the current jail, 542 inmates. So, it will require about 60 more detention officers. County Commissioners have given the Sheriff the go ahead to begin screening applicants, so information about the new jobs is available on the department's Facebook page. But County Commissioners haven't approved funding for hiring yet. The Undersheriff says it's a different approach.
"If you already have a current business in place, you usually would hire knowing that you had access to the funds," says Rhett Burnett, Undersheriff. "But this is a brand new thing. It's never been done in Cleveland County before."
Commissioner Rod Cleveland says a few weeks from now, when the Sheriff is ready to start hiring, the money will be there. "We haven't got a firm number yet, of we are going to need exactly this many on this date, you know, have this many on a following date," says Rod Cleveland, Cleveland County Commissioner. "So we just have estimated numbers. So as soon as we get that, we'll get it taken care of."
Once 20 applicants have been selected, the Sheriff will go to the Commissioners seeking the funds.
The existing Cleveland County jail was completed in 1984. It can hold about 230 prisoners.