Jail incident topic of roundtable discussion

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

Dozens packed Williamsburg City Hall Monday night for a roundtable question and answer session with candidates for Whitley County Jailer.

But the focus soon turned to an incident that happened at the jail a few weeks ago.

It's the video that's sparked all the attention.

"There's more interest in the community trying to figure out what they could've done differently," said Sherri Gibbs, with Whitley County UNITE.

The meeting of candidates had been planned for some time. But the recent incident at the jail brings more attention to the race.

"The only thing that caused is another black eye for Whitley County," said Melinda Moses, candidate for jailer.

Earlier this month, a deputy jailer at the Whitley County Detention Center refused to accept a suspect until he was medically cleared.

The deputy jailer told a sheriff's deputy he couldn't leave the jail without the suspect in his car.

The sheriff's deputy pulled through the sally port and let the man go in the parking lot.

"When you're looking at an inmate, and he can't answer the medical questions - he is too high to be admitted," said Ken Mobley, Whitley County Jailer.

Mobley said the jail has a doctor on call, along with a staff nurse, but only during certain hours.

The doctor was not contacted that night.

Some of the candidates said they don't feel like this particular circumstance warranted medical attention.

"What disturbes me the most is not this incident, but when they'll bring a guy who's cutting up, talking, laughing, and slapping people on the back, and then in ten minutes he's down on the floor," said Mobley.

Candidates voiced concern about medical staffing at the jail and the need for more nurses.

Mobley said all staff members have adequate training in first aid and CPR.

You may remember after the incident law enforcement officials met with the commonwealth's attorney to iron out a plan for jail admissions.

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