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Vote “Yes” For The Betterment Of Palo Alto

By Staff | Feb 16, 2021

Palo Alto County Residents,

I am currently the Jail Administrator and I wholeheartedly agree with Sheriff Schultes on the need for a new facility.  Our Jail is not safe for the Jailers or the Inmates. When we go back to do our hourly checks we unlock the steel door, enter, and lock the door behind us. If an inmate decides to become violent, we are very much at their mercy. Yes, we have dispatch trying to keep an eye on us but they can get a 911 call, which means they need to stop watching us and answer the call. If a situation arose and got out of control, it could be a very long time to get help to us especially if the Deputy is in another town. Lots of damage could be done in that amount of time. I’ve had fights between inmates and tried to deescalate but that doesn’t always work. Waiting for a Deputy can seem like forever when this happens.

With a new facility we would be able to classify the inmates and put them where they need to be as far as cells. State law says inmates with felonies or misdemeanors need to be housed separately. People are brought in with mental health issues, are very violent, drug use, the list goes on, so a padded cell would be great for the safety of all.

When we have too many inmates all confined in a small area tempers can and do flare. Sometimes we have to put inmates on the floor when we don’t have enough cells which leads to people wandering around and causing problems.

Our State Jail Inspector has worked with us throughout the past years in dealing with issues that are not up to code. I’m afraid this will be coming to an end as our facility is over 100 years old. We are in desperate need of a new facility being built. This is not only for the safety of the jailers but the dispatchers, inmates and also for the public.

Please consider voting YES on March 2nd to the building of a Public Safety Center. A vote of “yes” is a vote for the betterment of all people in our County.

Sincerely,

(signed) Deb Rouse

Emmetsburg, IA