He also said neither Butler or Warren County will house non-violent misdemeanor offenders.
“Catch and release will become the routine,” Sherron said. “So someone charged with breaking in to your garage and stealing your mower today could be going after your snow blower tomorrow and never go to jail.”
Sherron said the community should be heard on this issue and that the future of the jail should not be left up to any one person or perhaps even council. He suggested that the question be put to a vote or at the least establish a task force or committee to investigate the options and repercussions of closing the jail before taking any other action.
“Once you close the jail, it will never re-open again,” he said.
After the meeting, Sherron said he believed council heard him and thinks it will result in a task force to look into the issue.
City officials have been discussing the possibility of closing the jail due to issues of compliance with state regulations and recommended reductions in the number of inmates that could be held there. The jail is located under the Middletown City Building and opened in 1976.
The state has recommended housing no more than 34 prisoners. Middletown has budgeted $1.3 million in 2019 to operate the full-service jail. The city is one of five municipalities that continue to operate a full-service jail as other communities have facilities for 12-days, 12-hours or 6-hour holding facilities until prisoners are transported to the county jail.