Oklahoma County Commissioners Approve New Detention Center Site Near Will Rogers World Airport
KOKH - October 6, 2023 6:15 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Oklahoma County Commissioners have approved a potential jail site for the new Oklahoma County Detention Center, near Will Rogers World Airport.
The potential jail site is off SW 44th & New Castle Road near the airport, and some say it isn’t close enough to the county courthouse, but commissioners say it is the best option.
Oklahoma County Commissioners have spent lots of time debating potential sites for the new Oklahoma County Jail, and on Monday, after careful consideration, they approved 192 acres of land offered to them by the airport trust.
“What I like about this property, and what I’ve always liked about this, this was the only one that was submitted…we could really talk about acquiring perhaps without taking something off of the property roles that are already what we’re accustomed to receiving property taxes for, so this one won’t have a fiscal impact to the county,” said Oklahoma County Commissioner for District 2, Brian Maughan.
Commissioners say a lot went into their approval, as they considered all of the possible sites for the new detention center,
“There are a lot of factors that we consider when we’re looking at at the new location, access to highways, proximity to the courthouse, access to utilities and then of course… not being near neighborhoods in school,” said Oklahoma County Commissioner for District 1, Carrie Blumert.
Many are expressing concerns about the site’s new location, saying it is too far from the county courthouse, and there are no bus stops nearby,
“It’s something that’s going to have to be considered not only at the transport to get the sheriff to bring them down to the court appearances, but also for those who exit from the jail, they’re going to want to probably establish some sort of a system to where they’re not just dumped out on the front porch like they might be today,” Maughan said.
Ken Boyer, the Owner of Ken Boyer’s Bail Bonds has worked in the bondsmen industry in Oklahoma City for nearly 50 years and says bondsmen need to be close to both the jail and the courthouse, but he doesn’t anticipate many bondsmen relocating with the jail,
“I guess we’re getting close to the courthouse but not the jail, that might cause a little bit of a problem, I don’t think it’s gonna be a huge thing, but there is concern there,” Boyer said, “I don’t see people relocating just to be closer to the jail right away anyway, maybe over time that may happen but the cost of relocating could be a lot more than the cost of driving a few extra minutes.”
Officials say the site still has to be approved by the city and the airport trust before becoming finalized.