BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Cameron County Sheriff’s Office is working on a comprehensive plan regarding much-needed upgrades for detention centers.

Authorities intend to present this plan to county commissioners.

On Tuesday just before noon, 32-year-old Oscar Lopez Castro made an attempt to escape the Carrizalez – Rucker Cameron County Detention Center. 

Cameron County Sheriff Eric Garza says this could have been avoided if the county jails had the proper upgrades needed.

This includes additional barb wire, fencing, new gates, and technology including cameras and systems.

“But the biggest point of this, is while it’s being leased you still have maintenance so you can possibly lease this equipment for 7 years but it’s assured that if anything happens to the equipment the company will replace them at no additional cost to the county,” Sheriff Garza said.

But perhaps the biggest need is staffing, Sheriff Garza says there is a need for about 49 jailers to help in these facilities.

“Once we are completely fully staffed we will be able to take care of our inmates the main reason why we had to stop the contract for the federal inmates is because we didn’t have enough jailers if we don’t have enough jailers, how can we hold federal inmates?” Sheriff Garza said.

Jailers find themselves leaving Cameron County for better wages and opportunities.

Starting salaries for Cameron County jailers is near $31,000, a number Sheriff Garza would like to raise to at least $36,000.

“Unfortunately our salary is very low and that hurts us when trying to recruit individuals to apply for detention officers,” Sheriff Garza said.

If these upgrades could come to light Sheriff Garza says this can help keep inmates and workers protected.

“Once this is all done we’re able to provide a safer and secure facility for not only the inmates but the jailers,”

Our KVEO team reached out to commissioner Joey Lopez with precinct 2 and Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr when it comes to the county partnering with funding.

So far we have not hear a response just yet.