Last week’s escape attempt from the Leavenworth County Jail has already caused the Leavenworth County Commission to transfer money for additional fencing at the Justice Center, but more measures could be on the way.
Last week’s escape attempt from the Leavenworth County Jail has already caused the Leavenworth County Commission to transfer money for additional fencing at the Justice Center, but more measures could be on the way. Commissioner-elect Dennis Bixby said Monday that he thought the commission ought to look again at the incident that occurred Dec. 29 during which Raheem Armstead, 29 of Leavenworth, is alleged to have escaped from custody while throwing away a bag of trash in a receptacle behind the Justice Center. He was captured the following Monday and is now facing charges stemming from the supposed escape attempt. “It occurred to me that we had an awful lot of employees in this building while all of this was going on who were going from this building to their car and back or whatever,” Bixby said. “And most of them, if not all of them, were unaware that any of that was going on.” Bixby said he thought the question was how to protect those either at the Justice Center or the courthouse, especially as they leave or enter one place or another. Neither of the buildings went on lockdown, though staffing at both were limited due to the weekend. “I wanted to know what, if anything, we could do to adjust that,” he said. County Administrator Pat Hurley said the commission already approved one part of the solution by voting for a fund transfer that would allow the sheriff to erect a fence in the area near where jail trusty workers dispose of the trash. But he agreed that it would be worthwhile to look at more measures. “A person who does escape from there could go anywhere,” he said. Commissioner Clyde Graeber suggested that the county’s current sheriff, Dave Zoellner, or the sheriff-elect who will take office next week, Andy Dedeke, appear before the commission on security measures needed at the Justice Center. “I don’t consider any one of us to be experts in curtailing bad people,” he said. The other commissioners agreed to ask a sheriff’s office official to present additional security measures at the Justice Center.