COLUMN: About county jail inspections

Submitted photo.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown.

Nine years straight. That’s the number of years in a row that our county jail, Wayne McCollum Detention Center, has passed its annual state inspection.

I want to thank every employee in the jail for going above and beyond and earning us the best inspection we have ever had even though they’re working short-handed. Every one of them showed what teamwork is all about and I thank them very much for their hard work and dedication.

Jail inspections are unannounced and involve a state inspector from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards looking at and reviewing a multitude of items, ranging anywhere from life safety equipment to our book-in and release procedures, inmate classification files, health services, state licenses and certifications of detention officers, food service and many other areas. During the inspection, activities in the jail are observed and interviews are conducted with staff and inmates. An inspector is typically on site for two days before meeting with us at the end of the visit to discuss the results.

It’s not an easy process to go through and it’s not a given that a county jail will pass its TCJS inspection; in fact, there’s about a dozen facilities in the state right now that didn’t meet the minimum jail standards on their last site visit. We’re not one of those, however, and our track record of nine straight years of passing the requirements speaks highly of what our county jail employees accomplish on your behalf year in and year out.

I want to commend our jail captain, Terry Ogden, who does a tremendous job for us in managing his staff and keeping our facility in compliance with the many, many regulations it must operate under. A big thank you again to the Wayne McCollum team for all that they do. We should all be very proud of them and the service they provide to Ellis County.

Please, everyone, let’s keep our military and service personnel in our thoughts and prayers. We enjoy our rights and freedoms because of their service and safekeeping of our great nation. Y’all have a Blessed Week.

Johnny Brown has served as Sheriff of Ellis County since Jan. 1, 2009, and is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute. He has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and holds a Master’s Peace Officer’s Certificate with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.