County Supervisor Todd Spitzer has asked Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to expedite security upgrades to the Central Men’s Jail roof immediately instead of waiting for an internal investigation into how three inmates escaped last month, according to the O.C. Register.
Apparently Spitzer sent Hutchens a letter back on Feb. 2, urging her to ask the O.C. Supervisors to allocate more funding for cameras, motion detectors, infrared equipment, flood lights and “whatever you may need.” However Hutchens appears to be waiting for her department’s investigation into the jailbreak to be finalized before she takes any actions to improve security at the Jail.
Spitzer though does not want to wait for months for Hutchen’s investigation to wrap up. He pointed out in his letter that if nothing else Hutchens needs to do something about the Jail’s roof, where there have been 15 escapes since the Jail was completed in 1968.
Hutchens has apparently agreed to meet with Spitzer and the rest of the Supervisors in a closed door meeting on Feb. 23, to discuss Jail security.
Spitzer also ripped Stephen Connolly, the County’s executive director of its Office of Independent Review, who is investigating Hutchen’s department. Spitzer said that he had “serious doubts” about Connolly’s ability.
Connolly said last week that his oversight will include assessing the jail’s staffing, training, aging infrastructure and whether there was department misconduct. Connolly has been given unfettered access to the Sheriff’s Department’s weekly internal affairs briefings, and that once his investigation concludes, he will offer an opinion to the Board of Supervisors about his findings, according to the O.C. Register.
Spitzer seems to have changed his mind about the situation at the Jail. He recently posted this comment on our blog, “We will get answers believe me. But California has a Peace Officers Bill of Rights and I’m not about to walk the taxpayers into a lawsuit before the investigation is complete,” when we asked in a prior post why no one at the Jail has been disciplined yet.