Securing Your Safety

SANDUSKY COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) - Two inmates escaped from the Sandusky County jail Monday, July 17, 2017 around 3 p.m. Sheriff Chris Hilton promised that day there would be changes to the jail. 13abc took a tour of the Sandusky County jail to see what has changed since July.

Sheriff Hilton said Jordan Chapman, 26, and Mickey Hardy, 37, discovered an exterior door of the outdoor recreation area was unlocked.

Sheriff Hilton said, they "poked their heads out a couple of times" before they made a run for it.

From the surveillance video the Sheriff said any viewer can see they "very easily got over the fence and razor wire."

Local and out of state agencies searched day and night for both men. Authorities said Chapman and Hardy were located in Toledo two days after the escape.

The day both inmates were arrested in Toledo Sgt. Kevan Toney of the Toledo Police Department said, "the quick arrests of both individuals today speaks of the professionalism of all the agencies involved."

Sheriff Hilton said these reasons contributed to the escape:

1. Wires in the door weren't fixed from a previous escape last year making a door light inoperable
2. Not enough razor wire covered the fence around the outdoor recreation area
3. Some sheriff's office employees received poor field training

In July, the light to the outdoor recreation area was off and the door was unlocked. When lights on the panel are off it's supposed to indicate doors are locked.

"So the person sitting at panel didn't not realize that that door was unsecured," added Sheriff Hilton.

Cameras in, around and outside the facility showed inmates and employees every move.

After the escape, Sheriff Hilton wanted to know if this was an inside job.

"When we did some investigation into it there were some discipline handed out. Corrections officers didn't do what they were supposed to do, but the disciple wasn't as bad as it could of been because come to find out they weren't trained to do the things they were supposed to do," said Sheriff Hilton.

The sheriff said poor training combined with a mechanical error made for the perfect storm for something to go wrong.

Now, the 1988 jail has some upgrades. Those changes are:

1. More razor wire was added to the outside recreation area fence
2. Wires from the door that enable the light to go on and off were fixed
3. Staff has increased random jail inspections
4. Supervisors no longer sit at the booking desk

He said these are simple changes. This has also taught the department a vital lesson.

"We have a school just down the street that we failed to call and let them know because we were so intent on catching these guys," said Sheriff Hilton. "So we're trying to develop a policy should this ever happen again that these steps are going to be taken."

Securing your Safety will air on 13abc Friday at 6 p.m.