Another Epic Fail by Corrupt Sheriff Elder
It is the responsibility of the county sheriff to maintain a safe jail. This includes protecting the inmates. State statute reads; "the sheriff shall have charge and custody of the jails of the county, and of the prisoners in the jails, and shall supervise them himself or herself or through a deputy or jailer. (30-10-511)
There is case law which clearly shows the Sheriff is responsible for protecting the inmates and liable for their injuries.
A jailer or warden may be liable for an injury proximately resulting to a prisoner from a breach of duty with respect to such prisoner. McMillan v. Hammond, 158 Colo. 40, 404 P.2d 549 (1965).
As, for example, a breach of duty to exercise due care for the safety of a prisoner generally, to keep the jail sanitary and warm, or to furnish food. McMillan v. Hammond, 158 Colo. 40, 404 P.2d 549 (1965).
There are procedures in place to ensure the safety of the inmates. No one can guarantee an inmate will not be assaulted by another inmate; however, there are procedures to ensure inmates are protected and receive medical treatment in a timely fashion if they are assaulted in the jail. This did not happen in the El Paso County Jail on June 29, 2019.
According to El Paso Sheriff's office report 19-6850, written by Deputy Fleckenstein, EID 18079, an inmate was assaulted in ward 2C1 around 12:00 pm on June 29, 2019 by multiple inmates. The injured inmate was not discovered until 5:45 am the next day. His injuries were so bad he was transported to Memorial hospital (7:12 am). How can an inmate, who was beaten so bad it required him to go to the hospital, not be discovered for over 16 hours? In theory it is not possible. Again, there are procedures in place to ensure this cannot happen.
Deputies are required to do cell checks every 30 minutes (15 minutes in some wards). At every shift change (5 a day) there is a physical count of every inmate. This requires every inmate is seen and counted by the deputy who is taking over the ward. This is a physical count of every inmate in the jail. You cannot have a shift change until the entire jail has a "good count". This is to ensure every inmate is present; also to ensure they are alive and in good condition. All this is documented in policy.
This may not seem like a big deal. It's only an inmate; who cares? You should. This shows major systemic problems within the jail. If deputies do not feel the necessity to conduct basic cell checks and physical counts between shift changes; what else is not being done? This is a failure of leadership. Yet another example of Corrupt Sheriff Elder's complete incompetence. Why should deputies feel the need to follow the rules when their leadership is corrupt?
According to the report; "Inmate (redacted) was cleared from Memorial Hospital on Sunday, June 30th 2019. He was later released from the El Paso County Jail on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019."
That's it. No other report, no investigation, no nothing. We hear there is an IA investigation. Corrupt Sheriff Elder will probably fire someone. What he will not do is look at himself or his leadership team. None of his buddies will be held accountable. The problem has to be with the line officers, not leadership.
Elder will cover it up and move on like nothing happened. He continues to Lie, Deny, Hide, and let it Ride.
Is this what happens when you quickly hire a bunch of people and do not give them adequate training? Is this a result of no longer requiring jail deputies be POST certified? Because everyone is quitting and the word is out about how corrupt the sheriff is in El Paso County; Corrupt Sheriff Elder cannot hire qualified individuals. He has to settle. It appears Corrupt Sheriff Elder has taken one of the best LE agencies in the nation and made it just "okay" Should our agency be just okay? Unfortunately EPSO is not even okay. Due to Elder's poor leadership it is dangerously way below okay.
Could the real problem behind the failures in the jail be; no POST certification, no training, low morale, high turnover, and incompetent leadership?
Again, people are getting hurt (and killed) because of Corrupt Sheriff Elder.
We are confident another lawsuit will be coming.