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Mecklenburg jail inspection finds broken fire alarms and smoke detectors and dirty showers

Staff members at the Mecklenburg County jail are making repairs and cleaning up the facility after a number of health and safety violations were found during an annual inspection last month.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden
Logan Cyrus
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden

The violations detailed in the state's eight-page report include broken fire alarms, sprinkler systems and smoke detectors. A surveillance camera was also broken, and some shower floors and ceiling needed to be cleaned, repaired and sprayed for fruit flies.

The inspection was conducted on Dec. 21, 2021, by two state inspectors with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

In a formal response to the state, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office said it is working to address the violations, and expected most problems to be corrected within two to four months.

Already, the broken camera had been repaired, along with some shower floors and ceilings, the sheriff's office wrote. Dirty HVAC vents had also been cleaned, and showers had been sprayed for flies.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office said it had also ordered new smoke detectors and fire alarm panel equipment and requested more information from the state inspectors about problems observed with the sprinkler system.

The inspection also noted several light bulbs that were out around the facility. The Sheriff's Office said staff members were replacing those bulbs on an ongoing basis. Some columns that had peeling paint on them had also been repainted, the sheriff's office wrote.

In a statement, Sheriff Garry McFadden said his office is working to correct problems highlighted by the inspection report and provide a corrective plan of action within the state-mandated deadline. The Sheriff's Office declined to make McFadden available for an interview.

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Nick de la Canal is the host of Weekend Edition on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and a reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal