Residents skeptical about whether Jackson County jail search for contraband was necessary

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A coordinated joint search was conducted Wednesday morning at the Jackson County Detention Center, but some people are questioning that decision.

About 30 personnel from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the JCDC’s Corrections Emergency Response Team were involved in the joint initiative.

“We've got about 25 sheriffs deputies up there along with the emergency response team of the jail staff that are conducting the actual searches inside the jails after we take control of the inmates," Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp said Wednesday morning. "It's a two-pronged attack. We're also running narcotics dogs through the facility."

The team spent several hours searching for cell phones, drugs and other contraband on the facility's seventh floor. Sharp said the jail reached out to his department for help after getting tips of possible contraband in the jail.

“You can expect this to be part of our continuing and ongoing partnership with the sheriff's department and our other community law enforcement agencies,” Sharp said.

But some residents raised skepticism about the decision.

“I was saying to myself, 'Why are they in the county jail again and why are the sheriff's in there? And what do we pay the Jackson County jailers for? That`s what they always did,'” Kansas City resident Tommy Simmons said.

Simmons said he'll be interested to learn what, if anything, comes up in these searches.

“The biggest part about it is: How much money are we paying these sheriff's to come in to shake the Jackson County jail down?” he asked.

Simmons believes there are far greater problems with the facility and the way it's run than this.

“I don't understand that, and I just think this is a ploy for all of the other stuff that's going on,” Simmons said.

FOX4 has reached out to Jackson County to find out the results of Wednesday's search but we're still waiting to hear back.

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