Sheriff McCabe to recommend Jail Infrastructure report

An old pipe burst inside the Norfolk City Jail last night causing a serious flood, with water coming up nearly seven feet in the jail basement.

Crews worked all night to pump out the water, and are working now to replace the electronics that control the water pumps into the new courthouse. Sheriff McCabe is waiting for maintenance crews to brief him on all the damage as soon as things dry out.

If the water went up another two inches, we would have lost power in the jail. This means our elevators would not work, so we would have trouble moving nearly 1,300 inmates for meals and taking them to court appearances.

Additionally, our automatic locking system wouldn’t work, so we would have to use keys for the more than 300 doors inside the jail. Another problem would be booking inmates into jail by hand instead of the computer system.

The Norfolk City Jail is 53 years old, with an 18-year-old addition.

Recently, Sheriff McCabe alerted city officials that the jail needs about $2.5 million for a new master control system, a half-million-dollar update to its fire alarm system, and about a $200,000 kitchen floor replacement. These upgrades are needed in order for the jail to pass state Department of Corrections inspections.

Sheriff McCabe will recommend that city official hire a consultant to look at the total infrastructure of the jail, primarily plumbing in order to sustain the building for the future.

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