Posted May 11, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Letter to the Editor: Matrix jail study is incomplete


What a RSW Regional Jail mess! New Market deputies arrest a suspect and charge him with burglary, vehicle theft and vandalism - this reflects an example of what lies ahead for public safety in Shenandoah County.

Our Board of Supervisors just paid Matrix Consulting Group $36,000 to study how our Sheriff's Office will/and should operate when the new regional jail opens in Warren County. The study is incomplete - it does not provide details and facts about the reality of how a local jail and towns operate within our jurisdiction when the jail opens in 2014.

Why should taxpayers pay for an incomplete study? No one from Matrix or the Board of Supervisors sought input from town police chiefs or the Sheriff's Office. What a slap in the face! Do your job, but we don't want to know or care how you get it done.

Case in point. It was reported that the New Market suspect had a strong odor of alcohol about his person. The following scenario is hypothetical on my part, but very realistic: The arresting deputy puts a suspect in the back of a police cruiser at midnight. Not only is he drunk and combative, he is vomiting and incontinent. It is mid-winter, with a snowstorm and a five-mile back-up on Interstate 66. Is it fair to the deputy? How long will our deputy be on the road out of our county? When he reaches the regional jail, how long will he have to wait in line at booking because Warren and Rappahannock counties are in front of him. The prisoner is now sober.

What a mess from the beginning, and the Board of Supervisors will send out tax statements for all this starting 2015.

Marsha Shruntz, Strasburg

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