WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — Trumbull County officials are replacing door handles at the jail in the wake of a hostage situation and standoff in April.
Commissioners on Thursday approved spending about $6,500 to remove and replace 47 handles with a flush pull handle. During the standoff, inmates David Martin, Richard Ware and Kevin Johns were able to lock the door from the inside of the pod by tying up the door handle.
Chief Deputy Ernie Cook said the existing handles are perceived to be a design flaw.
“This new design prevents anyone from tying anything off and restricting access or ingress into that cell pod area,” Cook said.
Officials hope to have the new handles installed by next week. The old ones were installed 15 years ago when the jail was built.
But Trumbull County may not be the only jail in Northeast Ohio that has to install new door handles.
“Actually, from that period, there is quite a few jails, especially in Northeast Ohio, that have that same design and we have notified the state to get the word out there,” Cook said.
The Trumbull County Jail was built by the V Group about 15 years ago. The company no longer exists, but it built jails in Columbiana, Franklin, Dayton, Steubenville and Lake County around the same time.
A spokesperson for the Columbiana County Jail would not confirm to me whether they have the same handles because of security concerns.