New detention center opens in Waurika - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

New detention center opens in Waurika

Posted: Updated:

WAURIKA, Okla_After six years of waiting, Jefferson County finally voted to restore an old building in Waurika and turn it into a new jail, the Jefferson County Detention Center.

We reported in June of 2011 that the renovations were underway. Originally the jail was to be opened as a private corporation by the Jefferson County Economic Development Authority, but that didn't work. So, the sheriff's department took over the job earlier this year and finished the project.

Two weeks ago, the jail started filling up with inmates from around the state and already the city is feeling an economic boost now that it's here.

Some residents were opposed to the idea of having a jail right in the middle of their small community. They were worried about inmates escaping into their town. But City Manager Chuck Brown said the economic advantages outweighed their concern.

Waurika is a small community. Its residents shop locally, get gas locally and work locally. That's why the Brown, feels the Jefferson County Detention Center is going to give this small town a big boost. The jail is going to employ 25-30 local people.

"25-30 in a town of 2000, that's a big economic impact. Those are people that are working, paying taxes."

The sheriffs department has been pushing for a jail in town for years and about 5 months ago they were able to take over the renovation project from the county economic development authority.

"The building itself isn't new. It's just been remodeled. In fact, it's been here for decades. In the 80's it served as the INS building and until now, it's been sitting here vacant. But soon, it could hold close to 100 inmates."

Brown said the jail will take some of the financial pressure off the county. A second site for the brand new Waurika Community Work Center just down the road from the new jail will also help out. Soon it will also hold close to 100 low security inmates and Brown said his plans aren't stopping there, he wants to expand further.

"Hopefully further down the road, with 100 prisoners down here, 100 prisoners out here, then what the normal jail capacity is, maybe we could affect the hospital and they could dedicate a wing for prisoner treatment."

Brown said the Waurika Community Work Center should be up and running in the next 8 months.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:58 AM EDT2014-04-18 08:58:29 GMT
    What a nice end to the work week with sunshine, south winds and temperatures ranging through the 70s and even some low 80s out near the Texas panhandle.  For this evening expect temperatures to fall through
    Rain Chances Gradually Return this Easter Weekend.
  • UPDATE: Murder suspect transferred to Oklahoma County jail

    UPDATE: Murder suspect transferred to Oklahoma County jail

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:34 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:34:02 GMT
    LAWTON, Okla._ Quentin Goodwin was transferred to a jail in Oklahoma County from the Comanche County Detention Center Thursday.  Goodwin was arrested Wednesday in Lawton after being charged, along with
    Quentin Goodwin was transferred to a jail in Oklahoma County from the Comanche County Detention Center Thursday.
  • Judge's announcement could delay Duncan doctor's trial

    Judge's announcement could delay Duncan doctor's trial

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:11:16 GMT
    DUNCAN, Okla._The presiding judge in a case of a Duncan doctor accused of shooting a man outside his ex-wife's house last year has disqualified himself, just days before the trial is scheduled to begin.
    The presiding judge in a case of a Duncan doctor accused of shooting a man outside his ex-wife's house last year has disqualified himself, just days before the trial is scheduled to begin.
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.