Del City Police Publicly Opposes Proposed Jail Location

A piece of property in Del City is back on the Oklahoma County Commissioners’ agenda as a potential jail site. The city, school district, and citizens have all stood up to oppose the site, now the Del City Police Department is joining the cause.

Tuesday, January 23rd 2024, 9:07 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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A piece of property in Del City is back on the Oklahoma County Commissioners’ agenda as a potential jail site.

The city, school district, and citizens have all stood up to oppose the site, now the Del City Police Department is joining the cause. Police oppose the proposed site, saying a jail in Del City could potentially threaten public safety.

“People don't want to live next to a jail,” said Major Brad Cowden with the Del City Police Department. “The reason I think that a lot of people aren't empathizing with us is because it's not being built next to their home, it's being built next to ours.”

However, Oklahoma County Commissioners have yet to decide on where to put the new Oklahoma County Detention Center. The property near East Grand Boulevard is the only property listed on Wednesday’s agenda, with a request for purchase or appraisal of the 71 acres.

“Being that close in proximity to any detention center there's going to be a high rate of people experiencing homelessness people experiencing mental health issues and we're a small town that doesn't have the resources that some of our larger neighbors do to be able facilitate what these people properly need,” Major Cowden said.

The city held a town hall meeting at City Hall Tuesday afternoon and online to share information about the proposed site with the community.

“Our citizens have consistently shown up to these meetings and voiced their concerns but for whatever reason or another they have prioritized the safety of other cities over ours,” said Major Cowden.

City Manager J.D. Hock hopes that’s the case on Wednesday, calling on the community to stand up and voice their concerns once again for more transparency.

“If this truly is their site location, we need to know why,” Hock said. “There's been no explanation as to why this site keeps popping up or why it's such a viable location being so close to a residential neighborhood, being so close to potential development.”

Hock said the city spent over $200,000 to bring in a consultant to help put together a plan to expand Reno Avenue, 15th Street, and 29th Street to provide more restaurants and businesses along with a residential project to build bigger homes.

“All of that would be threatened if this were to come in,” Hock said. “Businesses are not interested in locating so close to a jail. There's no guarantee that we’re not going to have additional transient, vagrants, things of that nature once they're released, that could cause problems in these locations, people are not going to be interested if they don't feel safe and secure.”

Also on Wednesday’s agenda, is a motion to remove the Stockyards property from consideration. Architects are also expected to present proposed plans for the new detention center along with an economic impact study.

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