More inmate weapons found at Sedgwick County Jail

WICHITA, Kan. An operation at the Sedgwick County Jail turns up several kinds of dangerous weapons.

In the past few months, the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office reports an uptick in dangerous weapons found at the jail. For this reason, the sheriff's office Thursday night conducted a facility-wide sweep at the jail for the first time in years.

Some weapons recently found at the jail include weapons made out of anything metal. This includes anything from metal shower curtain rings to outlet covers.

Getting such items out of the jail, the sheriff's office says, makes it a safer place for everyone. More than 100 deputies took part in Thursday night's sweep. They searched more than 1,000 inmates inside the jail with the goal of finding and removing dangerous weapons.

"Sometimes it's the unknown that's the biggest concern," says Col. Brian White with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office. "When you find a few items, folks get concerned what might be out there. So an operation like this allows us to clear the conscience of not only the inmates, but the staff."

White says the entire operation Thursday took about five hours and turned up three weapons, as well as a metal outlet cover often used to make a shank.

"A number of inmates want us to find these items, and it's not uncommon for us to receive information from an inmate that's in here about improper behavior that's occurring and zero in on where a shank might be," White says.

By removing a few weapons Thursday night, White says the jail becomes a safer place for inmates and staff.

"I think it also it showed that it wasn't as bad as we thought it was. And again, it was the question of the unknown.," White says. "What exists out there that we don't know about that is a danger to us?"

White says the sheriff's office conducts smaller inspections at least once per day at the jail. As far as conduction more facility-wide search, White says they'll meet to talk about Thursday night's effort, determine its effectiveness and talk about next steps.