Help Authorized for Prisoner Care

On Monday, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law Senate Bill 1668, authored by Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow. This important legislation provides Oklahoma sheriffs with the authority to contract with private security firms to guard detainees or prisoners temporarily housed for treatment in medical facilities outside the confines of jail officials said in a release today.

“This bill is a critical step in maintaining the safety and security of our communities while ensuring that detainees and prisoners can receive necessary medical care,” Haste said. “By allowing sheriffs to contract with qualified private security firms, we can provide the necessary oversight and protection in medical facilities without overburdening our law enforcement officers.”

Senate Bill 1668 specifies that private security firms eligible for these contracts must meet the stringent requirements outlined in Oklahoma Statutes. This ensures that only qualified and vetted security personnel are entrusted with the responsibility of guarding prisoners during medical treatments.

SB 1668 addresses the logistical challenges faced by sheriffs’ departments when guarding prisoners requiring medical attention. This measure will ensure that other options will be available to keep necessary resources free for other duties.

“Thank you to Senator Haste for sponsoring this bill,” Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado said. “This legislation will allow us options in regard to our hospital garden unit that we didn’t have until now, and potentially save taxpayers money, as well as manpower resources.”

The bill was carried in the House by Rep. Lonnie Sims, R-Jenks.

“The workforce challenges for today’s law enforcement agencies are greater than at any time in our nation’s history,” Sims said. “Senate Bill 1668 provides our sheriffs with greater flexibility to deploy officers to the areas of highest need, risk and demand within the community, making all of Oklahoma safer. I’m honored to have joined Senator Haste in supporting our law enforcement officers and am thankful that the Governor has now signed this important legislation into law.”

SB 1668 will go into effect November 1, 2024.

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