|Updated: 3/19/2013 5:21 pm
||Published: 3/19/2013 5:10 pm
A major part of the Tulsa County Jail is getting a much-needed fix.
The Sally Port doors where inmates are brought in and out of are being replaced. This will provide a much safer environment for law enforcement.
The doors are opened nearly 400 times a day, but the new doors will have new hinges and will open much faster.
Officer Michael Konshak has been with the Bixby Police Department for nearly 9 years now. He tells FOX23 that over the years, he’s taken dozens of inmates to the Tulsa County Jail for booking every week. Like many other officers, he relies on the Sally Port doors to keep him safe during that process and to keep inmates under control.
“They have handcuffs and other types of restraints but if that fails and something happens and the prisoner is able to get away from the arresting officer, the Sally Port still contains them,” says Officer Konshak.
Like many other departments around Tulsa, Bixby does not have its own Sally Port so officers have to be extra careful when moving inmates in and out of their own jails.
"I have heard of plans for the downstairs to get a Sally Port in the future, but I don't know what the time frame would be,” says Konshak.
The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has worked to keep its Sally Port doors working but bad hinges mean the large steel doors have to be replaced, and that means a slower process to get inmates into the jail.
'It's a little bit of an inconvenience for the officers, but they will notice it will be a lot faster and we will be more responsive to their needs,” says Sgt. Bob Darby with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.
Konshak says the extra ten minute wait is well worth it when it comes to the added security.
"The people that control the doors aren’t going to open the east doors where we go in until the west doors are closed,” says Konshak.
The Sheriff’s Office says the east doors should be done by Wednesday and the west doors should be finished up by Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office budgeted more than $110,000 for this project.
It comes out of a quarter penny sales tax which funds the jail. There is no additional cost to the taxpayer.