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Fire department inspection reveals violations in Jackson County jail

Fire alarm, sprinkler systems were focus of inspection
jackson county jail
Posted at 6:04 PM, Apr 10, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new inspection of the Jackson County, Missouri, jail revealed issues with the fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems.

KSHB 41 News confirmed the legitimacy of the report — dated Monday, April 8 — with the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department.

In the report, the department recommends the jail return the systems to normal operation immediately because the violations involve life safety systems. Until the systems are back online, the fire department is asking the jail to maintain a “fire watch,” where a person walks all occupied floors once an hour to look for possible fires.

The county is currently building a new jail that should open by the end of 2025.

Legislator Manny Abarca asked county administrators about issues at the jail during Monday’s legislative meeting but did not reference the fire inspection report directly.

County Administrator Troy Schulte told Abarca the county needs to balance investing public funds in a building the county no longer plans to use once the new jail opens.

“Quite honestly, everything’s worn out over there. That’s why we’re going to where we’re going to build a new facility,” Schulte said Monday. “Finding that balance of what we need to do to keep everybody safe but not keep shoveling money down for something we’re going to walk away from in 18 months.”

The fire department asked the county to designate a person to get the facility in compliance. The department also required the jail to provide the fire marshal’s office with a plan of action and corrections.

A spokesperson for the fire department told KSHB 41 News it’s “not uncommon” for buildings to receive these types of violations during an inspection.

A county spokesperson has not yet commented on the inspection report.