Surprise search yields weapons

Published 2:20 am Saturday, February 9, 2019

Dozen officers, canine units sweep county jail

A dozen officers and three canines conducted a surprise inspection of the Covington County Jail Friday morning, and removed several homemade weapons, Sheriff Blake Turman said.

Most of the officers work for the Department of Corrections at various prison facilities, he said. The canine units are trained to find drugs.

“We didn’t find any drugs,” Turman said. “I was glad we didn’t. That means they’re not bringing those in, and the jailers are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Earlier this week, Turman said the jail is overpopulated by at least 100 inmates.

“We have about 220 people, and the jail is supposed to house 135,” he said. “We are working on reducing that number. The state has picked up some of their prisoners, and we’re working with the judges to see if some of the inmates could go to a community service program.”

Turman said there are a number maintenance issues that need to be addressed. In all of the cells, he said, there were two in which the lights worked properly.

“In the others, the lights had been knocked out or destroyed,” he said. “I met with the inmates and told them we were going to fix the lights. But if they turn around and tear it up, they’ll be charged for it.”

None of the inmates were charge for having the homemade weapons in their possession, he said. 

Turman said the inmates were shocked by the inspection Friday morning, but that they should expect it will happen again.