Monday, November 03, 2008

Endangering lives at Fayette jail

Last week, Officer Luke Valdez blew the whistle on dangerous policies at the Fayette County Detention Center. This week, he is back again with more:
"It will only be a matter of time when the inmates housed at Fayette County Detention Center figure out the times when the minimal amount of people will be able to respond to emergencies. This will happen at least nine times in a twenty-four hour period. Inmates will use this against the officers and take advantage of these windows of opportunity in an effort to maximize the amount of disruption they can cause. I understand that the way we handle breaks and work shifts had to be changed due to the lawsuit, but the officers of FCDC feel that we are being retaliated against because of this. I have been told several times that FCDC officers receive some of the best training in the nation, yet we are not treated in this manner. Currently Operational Order 3.1-2C states that if an officer responds to an emergency tone, without a commander’s permission and is on break, he or she will write a report and the major will take progressive disciplinary action on that officer. That officer is only doing what he has sworn to do. Before the changing of the Op-order, if an emergency tone went off you were required to respond and once you were relieved by a commander you continued your break, and this worked smoothly."

Don't hold your breath waiting for Mayor Jim Newberry to do something about this. As Officer Valdez suggests, this looks a lot like retaliation for the wage and hour lawsuit.