Tillman County may now house Canadian County inmates

New agreement signed to ease jail overcrowding; $45 per prisoner

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Kevin Ward

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A jail in southwest Oklahoma is now available to house Canadian County inmates.

The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office may now transport inmates from the Canadian County Jail in El Reno to stay at the Tillman County Jail in Frederick.

The two jails are about 138 miles apart.

A new agreement finalized this week allows Canadian County to use bed space at the Tillman County facility. Cost is $45 per day, per inmate.

The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office transports and houses inmates in other jails when the Canadian County Jail is full. The jail, 304 E Evans in El Reno, has a 194-bed capacity.

“Some of the jails that we’ve been using have signed contracts with federal agencies and so they’re no longer available,” Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward said.

“Tillman is available. We know it’s almost at the Texas border, but it will be a place that we could house 10-15 inmates if we need them.”

Since mid-November, some Canadian County inmates have been housed in three other counties’ jail facilities – Grant, Washita and Logan.

On Jan. 9, there were 215 Canadian County inmates in custody. That included 181 prisoners housed at the El Reno detention center with 34 others staying in the three contracted counties.

Canadian County previously sent inmates to Ellis and Dewey counties, but their jails no longer have open bed space.

So, Canadian County Commissioners approved an interlocal agreement that expires June 30, 2023, to “utilize bed space to house prisoners sentenced to incarceration or awaiting sentencing” pursuant to state law.

The agreement is between the Canadian County Sheriff and Canadian County Commissioners and the Tillman County Law Enforcement Center Trust Authority and Tillman County Commissioners.

“I have visited with their county commissioner and they’re very excited about the opportunity,” new District 1 Canadian County Commissioner Tom Manske said.

Canadian County sheriff’s deputies are now able to transport Canadian County inmates from the El Reno detention center to the Tillman County Jail in Frederick, about 138 miles away. (File photo)
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UPDATED FLEET

Meanwhile, the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office will update its fleet with two used patrol vehicles.

Sheriff’s deputies will utilize Dodge Chargers with about 55,000 miles acquired from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The price is $21,000 each.

Canadian County Commissioners awarded the bid for “2019 or newer” vehicles.

Missouri and Kansas highway patrols typically sell used units to the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, according to Undersheriff Ward.

However, Kansas had no vehicles available this time because of the supply chain issue.

Missouri State Highway Patrol was the lone bidder.

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