Officers complain about Dallas County jail's long lines - Dallas News |

Officers complain about Dallas County jail's long lines

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There are new complaints about the Dallas County jail. Half of the nurses on the staff were fired recently and that has tripled the time it takes to book in a prisoner.

Pictures from inside the jail show frustrated Dallas police officers. Every prisoner has to see a nurse upon arrival and the officers have to wait until that's done. It's now sometimes taking hours.

"That takes him off the street. If he goes to the jail two times a night, that's six hours in an eight hour shift," said Frederick Frazier with the Dallas Police Association.

The county admits it's taking longer because two of the four nurses assigned to the jail were recently fired.

"Unfortunately we're down 50 percent of the staff so that slows the process," said Commissioner John Wiley Price.

The police association thinks a new policy is also compounding the problem.

Female prisoners are required to provide a urine sample for a pregnancy test before being booked in. The women sometimes have to hold their samples for hours in line.

"We need to know whether or not they are pregnant," Price said.

The tests have always been done at the jail, but they used to be done after the officers left.

"There are females who are getting medications and we need a full assessment to see on the pregnancy side," Price said.

"What are we going to do when we have a fight or an irate person and they throw it on the officers?" Frazier asked.

Price said if officers are worried about the urine being mishandled the jail can wait until after the prisoner sees the nurse to collect a sample. But, that could take even longer, he said.

The commissioner said the county is trying to hire new nurses. Until then, the lines are going to be long.

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