Brown County Sheriff responds to jail issues

Brown County Adult Detention Center

PRESS RELEASE, February 24, 2016

Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger issued a press release Feb. 24 regarding the issues of the Adult Detention Center’s closing and the recent formation of the Jail Task Force set to decide how the county will move forward.

In his statement, Wenninger questions the costs to operate the jail being discussed by the Task Force and in the media, and he also questions the decision making in appointing the members of the Jail Task Force. Additionally, Wenninger reminds citizens of the jail’s operations despite the November 2015 closing.

The full press release as issued by Sheriff Wenninger can be read below:

Sheriff’s Response to Jail Issues
I want to thank the Commissioners for looking into the Jail
Overcrowding Issues.
However according to the Ohio Revised Code 340.01 the Sheriff is in
charge of the Jail.
I feel as being in charge of the jail that a member of the Brown County
Sheriff’s Office and along with a member of the FOP should have been
contacted to sit on the Jail Task Force. I would have assigned someone with years of experience in the Jail to be a part of the Task Force.
After seeing the articles in the paper reflecting on costs to run the jail
they are far different from what I have figured. So far only one person
from the Task Force has even asked any questions. As you can see by the
numbers we run a balanced budget and are under staffed and still
managed to return funds to the county general fund last year.
The part of the Jail operation I am against is closing the jail and housing
inmates somewhere else other than our county. This is taking jobs out of
our county and transportation costs have increased greatly.
Even if the Jail is closed we still have holding cells. We still have to book in, get ready
for court, which ranges from 1 to 22 which takes manpower.
To the citizens who we protect I want them to be aware that just because
the Jail is temporarily closed we are still processing inmates. We still have to process around 1800 inmates a year and release that many.
The inmates still need fingerprinted, photos taken and served breakfast,
lunch and dinner. They have to prepare inmates for court and be transported to the Butler County Jail. When they return from court we have to hold them until transport is available to take them to another jail.
This is why I answer the question of why I only laid off 4 Corrections
Officers. 1 officer sets the front desk and handles all the public and answers all phone calls.
They also enter warrants, teletypes to other agencies, schedules Carrying Concealed License Appts and Sex Offender Scheduling. They are also in charge of watching all camera’s. That leaves 2 Correction Officers to book in, change out, photograph and fingerprint.
They are also responsible for feeding them and watching them in the holding cells until they are transported. Keep in mind this does not account for all time off and vacations or sick time.
I have been asked why can’t the Road Patrol transport them. The answer to that is we have 14 Road Deputies to handle 496.50 square miles of Brown County and take an average of 14,000 calls a year for service.
What the public doesn’t realize is the employee’s earn and deserve their
vacation, that leaves 2 deputies on the road most of the time and I’m not leaving 1 Deputy on the road to handle the county. We have 3 court security Deputies that we are mandated to cover the Courthouses which costs $171,802.68 . The Road Patrol costs the county $925,595.50 plus $104,000.00 in gas and maintenance. Investigations has a
total of 5 employees, one of which is the Crime Scene Investigator. Total
costs for investigations is $343,809.00 plus gas and maintenance. Office staff includes a Chief Deputy and 2 office personnel that are not listed.
Also noted in the article was that Clinton County takes care of 40 inmates
with 3 Corrections, this is true but misleading. They have 3 Correction Officer’s per pod per shift. They have a total of 20 Correction Officers. The Brown County Jail takes care of an average of 74 inmates with 3 Correction Officer’s. With only 3 in the Jail and maintaining the Front Desk.
As to the $200,000.00 in Maintenance quoted before the Jail doors had
been retro fitted. Before the jail doors have been replaced which will drop the maintenance .
I have requested bills from the commissioners which I have not received as of February 24, 2016.
So even if the Jail would be closed we still have to maintain the office and pay bills. So cost per inmate per day should not include the maintenance unless the Sheriff’s Office was in another building.
The cost of running the jail, not including maintenance is $1,281,250.00. This includes all costs for 16 Corrections at average population of 74 inmates would be $47.44 per day per inmate even if we went to a 38 average population it would be $92.37 a day. The figures quoted in the paper are different from what I have determined to be the cost.
Even if the Jail was closed, we still have to maintain staff to book in and release an average of 1,800 inmates a year and take care of the transportation to another facility.
To the public the State of Ohio has very strict rules for inmates which I
have no choice but to follow. I feel it was my duty to make the public aware that the initial stats in the paper were not necessarily accurate. I am a 28 year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and of the last 16 years I have been your county Sheriff. We have a dedicated hard working group of employees that serve the citizen’s of Brown County.
I would like to thank the public for their time.
Thank You
Brown County Sheriff
Dwayne Wenninger “

Brown County Crime Reporter, February 25, 2016 12:21 PM EST

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Published by browncountyreport

Reporting on crime in rural Brown County of the southwest Ohio Appalachian foothills.

4 thoughts on “Brown County Sheriff responds to jail issues

  1. While I understand the sheriff doesn’t want to leave one deputy on the road at a time, nothing prevents him or his chief deputy from being the second officer on patrol.


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