Sherrif Heroux calls for increased state funds, security after inmate ‘standoff’ in Dartmouth

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WLNE) — Two weeks after a standoff with inmates at the Bristol County Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, Sherrif Paul Heroux is calling for increased jail security and more state funds.

ABC 6 crews Friday were given a close-up look at the damaged housing unit inside the jail.

According to Heroux, 20 agitators refused to be moved to more secured housing units. They are now facing charges for damaged property.

“This was a dangerous group of people,” Heroux told ABC 6 Friday. “Three of the agitators were on murder charges, nine on assault and battery, three of them on serious weapons charges. One of them was in their on fentanyl trafficking. One was in their on cocaine trafficking.”

Heroux said the unit with the most damage does not have locks on doors of the cells, and only two guards guarded the area at a time. Alongside being 100 officers short-staffed, the jail felt the standoff was preventable.

Heroux added, “This facility is not as safe as it can and should be. It could be a lot safer if it had locks on doors. It could be a lot safer if we had more correctional officers.”

Units from the standoff were still cluttered with trash and debris. Officers that diffused the standoff fielded deadly threats from the inmates.

“When I got to the window several inmates had their faces blocked,” said one officer Nate Medeiros. “They threw out rolls of toilet paper that were on fire at one point. They did brandish homemade weapons. We call them shanks — metal sharpened to a point. An inmate showed it to me and said he would assault me.”

Repair costs will reach around $200,000.

Another officer, Eric Cardoso, asked for more state help, adding, “When there is an incident or a major incident that occurs, whether it’s a group assault or fight, you don’t have every inmate coming out and responding to a scene where you could potentially have 80 inmates that are free and could get involved with each incident.”

The jail said the units will be cleaned out over the weekend.

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