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La Plata County jail receives 15 inmates after Archuleta County Courthouse flood


La Plata County jail welcomed about 15 new inmates this weekend after a flood at the Archuleta County Courthouse forced them to be relocated.

La Plata County Sheriff Sean Smith said he offered to house the inmates after flooding rendered Archuleta County jail a threat to inmates’ and staff members’ safety.

The inmates were transported to La Plata County in three vehicles.

La Plata County jail had no trouble absorbing the influx, Smith said.

“I think our population was at 108 when they arrived,” he said. “In recent years, our staff has dealt with upwards of 200 inmates; so for us, it’s not a big deal.”

The jail typically bills agencies for housing their inmates, but given the situation, Smith said he’d be billing at a “reduced rate.”

Capt. Michael Slade, who oversees jail operations, said he understood the water damage in Archuleta to be severe. “I know they had water coming out of their cameras – all their electronics were messed up. Supposedly, it’s a mess,” he said.

The Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return messages Monday seeking comment.

According to The Pagosa Springs Sun, Archuleta County commissioners held an emergency meeting at 2 p.m. Monday to discuss the courthouse in light of last weekend’s flooding of the western portion of the building during roof repairs.

At the meeting, the board was expected to discuss how, and if, to move forward with repair of the building.


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