Chickasaw Nation, Pontotoc County finalize jail pact
(KTEN) — A detention agreement between the Chickasaw Nation and the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Office is set to be approved on Tuesday.
The pact will let the county's Justice Center house tribal inmates. District Attorney Erik Johnson believes it will enhance public safety and create additional revenue for the sheriff's office.
"The best law enforcement — ergo, the best public safety — is when all law enforcement agencies work together cooperatively and collaboratively," he said.
Included in the agreement is a pay rate for housing tribal inmates.
"There are approximately 200 beds in the Pontotoc County Justice Center, of which 100 are currently in use," Johnson said. "I anticipate that even if 50 percent of those beds are used — based on the rate of pay in this detention agreement — that would generate about a million dollars a year for the sheriffs office."
Pontotoc County law enforcement agencies like the Ada Police Department — that are cross-deputized with the Chickasaw Nation — will no longer need to transport tribal prisoners to out-of-county jails.
"Prior to this agreement, they would have to transport that prisoner to an out-of-county jail that already had a detention agreement," Johnson explained. "That would take a patrol officer off the street and on a transport and be gone for an hour or two hours to get the prisoner there, booked in, and return back."
The detention agreement is expected to be ratified and filed during a Tuesday morning meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.
"After Tuesday, I anticipate that representatives from the Chickasaw Nation and the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Office will meet and work out any procedures necessary to house tribal inmates, and then they can commence," Johnson said.