The Tulare County jail is a building now 50 years old.  Opened in the very early 1960’s, it’s the state-of-the-art in jail design.  For the late 1950’s.  It’s been through a lot in those 50 years, and as with anything of that age, it’s starting to show some wear and tear.  Even our “guests” notice.

I took a call last night that has to be, at the very least, the call of the week, and it was about our jail.

A gentleman called in, at about 1:30 in the morning, and threw me a curve ball.  This was a first.  He sounded a bit tipsy, and I expected to hear a rant about no telling what.  He identified himself (and as I say in my “about” blurb, names are omitted to protect the innocent) and said he needed some information on who to call about the condition of our jail.  I was ready to give him the direct number to the jail, but as he rattled on, it became clear that would not do.

Seems Mr. (name omitted) has set himself the goal of getting us a new jail.  He was recently released after  a stay of undisclosed tenure, and is not happy with the conditions of the current facilities.  He said he understood that it was a jail, “but really?”.  He was adamant that he was going to get us a new jail, and wanted to know who he needed to call.

It was at this point I decided to have a bit of fun.

My caller asked who he needed to speak with to get this done, and I told him “the governor”.  (Most jail funding these days is done through the state.  Our new jail/courthouse facility in Porterville is being paid for mostly by the state of California)  He asked for the number, and I told him I didn’t have it.  That did not seem to deter him, and he repeated that he was going to get us a new jail, “you just watch”.  I told him that if he did, we’d name it after him.  He really liked that idea, and said the name a few times, just to try it on for size.

We chatted for a few more moments, I wished him luck on his project, and we parted best (phone) buddies.

Now I’m a bit worried.

We once heard from the night Sergeant, working the desk, at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, at the Pentagon, after a local woman called to report drug dealings going on in our county that nobody would do anything about.  (and believe me, she tried everybody.  The local PD for her town. The Sheriff’s Department.  The Highway Patrol.  Police and Sheriff’s Departments from neighboring counties.  The FBI in Fresno.  The FBI in Washington. D.C. Now the Pentagon!  I was afraid we would next hear from the White House!) (Yes, she was nuts. No drug dealing, or relatives using a baby to transport drugs. Look up 5150 to see the explanation)  These people are quite dedicated, once they set their minds to something.  I really hope Mr. (name omitted) doesn’t call up the Governor’s office looking to fund his jail project, and tell them I told him to call!

Man…  I love my job!

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