The day after a Cuyahoga County jail corrections officer posted a lenghty first-person video to Facebook
describing the many problems in Jail II at the facility (cell doors that can be unlocked
by inmates, double podding
, a pervasive fear of leadership among the rank and file), regional corrections director Ken Mills announced a new policy adding SRT officers to Jail II between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. as a solution.
SRT (Special Response Team) officers are basically the jail's SWAT team. They receive extra training and are the only officers authorized to carry and use pepper spray. They are also already stretched thin.
The new policy, which officers argue is a substitute for spending the money to actually fix the problems that are creating safety concerns, will add to their duties. The full order is below, but in summary: An SRT officer shall receive an assignment and report to a floor; conduct a tour of the assigned area with the pod officer every 30 minutes; and generally be around.
Though the county says all faulty doors in Jail II have been fixed, officers, through grievances filed by their unions, contend otherwise.
Which isn't to say that Jail II is the only problem. Jail I was the scene of an assault on an SRT officer by an inmate last evening while the officer was conducting a cell-to-cell search. The officer was transported to a local hospital.