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HCSO Battles Summer Heat in the County Jail
Date: 06/03/2011
Janice Atkinson
Public Information Officer
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

Earlier this week, one half of the air conditioning system in the Justice Building went down. The biggest part of that building contains the Hamilton County Jail which houses over 500 inmates a day.

The problem has been identified as a bad A/C motor which must be replaced. Maintenance crews have been working on in that area prepping it for the installation of the new motor which is supposed to take place the first of next week.

The jail staff is attempting to keep the inmates cooler:

• By allowing inmates to wear their uniforms (jumpsuits) up to the waist only

• By serving ice, ice water and pop cycles as often as possible

• By serving ice cream. Sheriff Hammond instructed the jail to bring in a supply of ice cream to help cool the inmates down as previous Sheriff H. Q. Evatt did decades ago when faced with a similar crisis.

The jail also has brought in a large water-cooled fan for the booking area and several four-foot fans placed throughout the building along with many box fans. Jail deputies are permitted to wear their “soft uniforms” (pull-over shirts and lighter pants) during the A/C outage as well.

Also, the company servicing the jail’s air conditioners will be bringing in portable A/C units which will be used in the very hot kitchen area. The jail may have to adjust the feeding menu to cold sandwiches instead of hot-cooked meals to help keep the area temperature down.

Sheriff Hammond said he is extremely proud of the dedication shown by his deputies in the jail during this serious situation. “To see those men and women doing their jobs under those work conditions is certainly going above and beyond the call of duty,” said Sheriff Hammond. “In fact, one officer, whose daughter is in the hospital, came to work so he could repair the water-cooled fan the jail is using.”

Civilian offices in the building (Records, Sentence Management, Fugitive and Sexual Registry are located on floors 1-B and 2-B underground and are not affective as severely as the jail located on floors one through six above ground.

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