PARAGOULD, Ark. – With the news this week that charges won’t be filed in the death of Marshall Price, a lot of discussion surrounding the Greene County Jail is taking place.
Although Price’s tragic death can’t be fixed, NEA Report reached out to the new Greene County sheriff, Brad Snyder, to ask him about what sort of positive changes he has implemented in the jail since the death of Price. Snyder shared some of the changes seen below in a press release:
As one can imagine, there are many challenges in becoming county sheriff and transitioning from a law enforcement role in a municipality. The most challenging task for me has been assuming command of the county jail. There are many more responsibilities and duties than many realize, including for a career law enforcement officer such as myself.
Coming into office, I felt that fresh eyes were needed in jail operations in order to get things where we felt they needed to be. I named Sheila Robertson, a 32+ year employee of the Paragould Police Department, as jail administrator. Sheila’s work ethic is second to none, and her dedication to doing things in the right way ethically, morally, and legally made her an easy choice for the administrator position. In much the same light, I brought Jacob White back to the jail as jail supervisor after a few years hiatus. Jacob’s attention to detail, organization, and dedication to making sure his employees are equipped to do their job effectively and safely are his strong suits. Sheila and Jacob have hit the ground running in addressing deficiencies in all areas of the jail including facility maintenance, detention officer equipment, and proper training for detention center employees. The review and improvement of detention center policies and procedures is currently in process and has been since day one.
One of my top priorities since taking office, and one that has taken up most of my time thus far, has been to improve the jail control systems, as well as the detention center’s camera system. I have had our jail control systems and camera system evaluated, and I hope to begin the process of contract negotiations and ultimately the installation of a new system as soon as possible. This will improve the safety environment for both the employees and the inmates. Unrelated to technology, I am also looking into grants and meeting with organizations to hopefully begin incorporating Peer Recovery Support Specialists into the jail to assist inmates with overcoming pitfalls from their drug / alcohol addictions. These specialists would be present to help acquire driver’s licenses, birth certificates, education classes (GED), and other applicable documents or skills to help the inmates begin a positive transition back into the public and the workforce so that hopefully, they can return to being a productive and proud member of society. These Peer Recovery Support Specialists are also there to help the inmate with accountability before and after their release.
Speaking of accountability, from day one my employees have known that they will be held accountable, and that we will be conducting ourselves in a professional manner at all times. My command staff and I have already demonstrated that inappropriate behaviors or failing to do the job the right way has consequences. My hope is that this department is well on its way to being a respected and credible department that makes the citizens of this county proud.
– Sheriff Brad Snyder, Greene County, Arkansas
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