Deputies don new duds

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Curry County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Williams, wearing the department’s new uniform, stands Tuesday as he is introduced to commissioners by Sheriff Matt Murray during the Curry County Commission meeting.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Sheriff’s deputies came to the Curry County Commission meeting Tuesday, then commissioners spent time in jail.

Sheriff Matt Murray introduced 11 deputies, wearing their new uniforms, and two investigators to commissioners.

“I wanted you to see (who) serves you in the county,” he told commissioners. “I’m very proud of this group.”

Murray said the old uniforms, which were black, were too hot for the deputies in the summer.

“They wanted to go for a lighter colored, more officer-friendly uniform,” he said.

Murray said the uniforms cost $125 each.

After the meeting, commissioners toured the new county detention center annex for female inmates. Warden Leslie Johnson said the facility is a direct-supervision jail and the first for the county.

She said with direct-supervision jails, officers have direct contact with inmates, instead of working behind a station observing them with video cameras.

“It’s very critical to use all your senses when you’re dealing with inmates,” Johnson said. “The officers are basically living their shift with the ladies.”

She said the new facility will house more than 50 female inmates. The facility had been the men’s annex for the Curry County jail that housed 27 inmates.

“It was a disciplinary lock-down area,” she said.

The facility will also offer education programs for inmates.

“I don’t want them to just sit here,” Johnson said. “I want these ladies to learn something they didn’t know when they walked in here.”
Johnson estimated the facility would be open in a month.