By John Filonow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
County commissioners transferred the former Payne County detention facility, 815 S. Duncan St., to the city of Stillwater at Monday’s meeting.
They also approved a memorandum of understanding with the city to renovate Stillwater City Jail into a certified juvenile detention facility.
County Commissioner Gloria Hesser said having just one facility for adults and one for juvenilles was “an absolute win-win.”
The Stillwater City Jail and the Payne County Jail house adults. It is illegal to house juvenilles and adults together, meaning the sheriff’s department has to transfer juvenille offenders to other facilities.
Sheriff R.B. Hauf said some juvenilles are transferred to a facility in the Panhandle, which costs the county time and fuel costs. Hauf this causes even more problems in winter.
Stillwater Director of Public Safety Norman McNickle said renovating the city jail into a juvenille facility was a good idea, but “statutorily, we can’t do that.”
“It actually becomes a facility that belongs to the State of Oklahoma, not in deed, but in operation,” McNickle said.
McNickle said the state legislature has to make a decision to fund the renovation. He said OSU and city police and deputies transfer juvellines often.
“All of the law enforcement agencies in the county spend a great deal of time babysitting these kids until they can find them a bed,” McNickle said.