Opelousas City Jail is set to close in the near future.
With that, the Opelousas Mayor’s Office and Police Department met with the St. Landry Sheriff’s Office today to discuss a plan for moving inmates.
The closing of the jail being due to plumbing problems.
“We have tree roots, like the oak trees around the jail have gone into the sewer lines and actually crumbled them,” says Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum.
While one closes, there is a possibility for another to open but not for a while.
“We did have $6.2 million dollars put in the capital outlay for a new jail and policy facility but that’s down the line a little bit,” says Tatum.
For now the focus is moving nearly a dozen inmates from the jail.
A task that requires the combining of departments and ideas.
“The city does things differently which is rightfully so…the parish does things differently…we have different paperwork..we have different procedures…we have different employees,” says St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz.
Security measures in the meeting could not be revealed to the media.
However, they did discuss general conversation topics.
“Some of the prisoners are trustees, we’re probably going to use those as soon as possible as far as the trustees,” says Tatum.
“Booking officers with OPD…we don’t want to displace anybody. They’re not going to lose their jobs and the chief and the mayor insured us they are not going to lose their jobs,” says Guidroz.
The reason this is the first of many meetings is that they want this transition of prisoners to be as simple as possible.
The departments also want to negate any fear from the residents in the area.
“We don’t want an employee as well as the community to panic about anything. We do have it under control. We’re going to make it easy. It’s all going to work out,” says Chief of Police Donald Thompson.