Transcript Staff Writer

Former Norman deputy police chief Neil Vickers gave his weekly jail report to the Cleveland County Commissioners at Monday's meeting and then turned in his resignation.

For the past one and one-half years, Vickers has monitored the Cleveland County Detention Center, counting heads and making recommendations to the commissioners while working with the sheriff's and district attorney's offices.

With the selection of the jail site and the "new programs we've put in place, I think this is the appropriate time for me to go," Vickers said.

Vickers thanked the commissioners and the elected staff at the meeting.

"Our county officials are good people, dedicated to the job they do," Vickers said.

Acting Commissioner Chairman Rusty Sullivan (George Skinner was absent), thanked Vickers and presented him with a certificate of appreciation.

"We appreciate all the hard work you did and we will miss you," Sullivan said.

Vickers was retired from the Norman Police Department for about two months when he received a call from the county commissioners asking him if he would be interested in helping, and he agreed to an original contract from March to June 30, 2005.

Besides a daily head count, Vickers would assist the assistant attorney's office with a pre-trial program, releasing non-violent offenders with no long prior criminal history to be supervised and with ankle bracelets.

"It was not an easy job," Vickers said. "But it was a fulfilling one."

Vickers said his presence made an awareness with the DA, sheriff and judges and also to the public.

He said he thought the location at Franklin Road and 24th Avenue NW was the best site for the new detention center.

"It's accessible for all the county law enforcement agencies, it already has utilities and zoned industrial so there won't be any residences next door," he said.

He also said the commissioners made the best decision that affected the least number of people.

There is a large list of honey-dos waiting for Vickers. He said he couldn't wait to change into his golf shorts and shirt and get started on his yard.

For the week of Sept. 20 through 26, there was an average of 214 prisoners. This is one more than the previous week and 37 more than the cap the Oklahoma State Department of Health has placed on the current detention center.

In other business, commissioners approved a computer service agreement with Dell and disposed of tables, both with the county assessor's office.

The next regular meeting of the Cleveland County Commissioners will be 9 a.m. Monday at the Cleveland County Office Building, second floor, 201 S. Jones Ave.

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