When Mayor T.L. Gramling had been interviewed about the number of those people that were still employed by the City, he replied, "A lot of the people in this report don't even work for the City any longer." Only three of the employees with serious allegations against them are still employed with the City.
One employee was terminated last week, after being the subject of four DOC investigations, one incident being the most recent. That leaves twelve City of Altus employees with procedural violations who remain employed. One employee whose allegedly "inappropriate behavior was substantiated" is in a supervisory position. Two of the employees who were found to allegedly have had a "personal relationship" with offenders, are still employed by the City. One current employee allegedly gave offenders "coin money", and one had allegedly "purchased cigarettes and soda" for inmates. Seven current City employees allegedly violated DOC procedures by "purchasing items" for the inmates.
Strict DOC regulations have been put in place to help prevent a culture of dependency from developing between inmates and City employees.
City Council member Peggy Risinger said that she feels that training would help prevent some of the problems that have occurred with City employees. Council member Sid Willis also sees the need for more training.
Willis stated, "If, as it has been reported, the City of Altus does stand to lose its women's work center, the only economically viable alternative would seem to be to accept a change to housing a male work center. Their labor is essential to maintaining the level of service the City is currently able to provide to the citizens of Altus. Without that help, we would have to limit the extent of, or slow the delivery of some services where inmates are now being used, because they are used in so many departments throughout the City. The trade off, should it come, from transitioning from female to male inmates, is that while females tend to have more clerical skills, male inmates can perform work of a more physically demanding nature. It is my own hope that, regardless of what change may occur, we effectively train our city employees to perform their supervisory responsibilities professionally, and that they comply fully and literally with all rules governing their interaction with these people who are in the temporary custody of the state."
While training is definitely a crucial management tool, the DOC has given training to City workers in the past. The most recent training was given to Altus City workers in May, and since that time, two more incidents occurred shortly after its completion.
If the City Council chooses to endorse a DOC contract to house male inmates here, the council is being proactive in trying to prevent problems with the new inmates.