Problem with heating unit forces transfer of lake jail inmates |

Problem with heating unit forces transfer of lake jail inmates

A heating problem at the El Dorado County Jail forced the transfer of 69 inmates Friday from the lake to Sacramento County.

Capt. Bob Altmeyer, with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, said a heating transfer unit burned out in a wing of the jail that was built in 1988. The unit will have to be removed and completely replaced before prisoners can return.

“We’re obligated by law to maintain a certain temperature,” Altmeyer said. “In anticipation of the winter storms, we moved them out Friday.”

Sacramento County Sheriff’s personnel transferred the inmates. El Dorado County will have to pay $50 per person, per day. The money will come from the county’s contingency fund, Altmeyer said. The repairs could take from 5 to 21 days to complete.

Altmeyer said they tried to move people who were serving sentences, but they also had to move some people still going through the court process. Altmeyer said the county will have the added costs of transferring those individuals from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe for their court appearances.

“We’re going to be shuffling some people around, so ideally we’ll only have 45 in Sacramento on a long term basis,” Altmeyer said. “The transfer was done professionally, and it went off without a hitch.”

There are still between 20 to 25 inmates remaining in the local jail.

“We still has the capacity to make bookings,” Altmeyer added. “But the sooner we can get it worked out the better.”

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