Inmate Escapes In School Vehicle

Dr. Shane Johnston, Director of Jefferson County Schools released the following statement concerning the incident:

“Earlier today my office was notified that an inmate from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department had stolen a car from the transportation garage and fled the property. Central office staff worked with schools and placed four school campuses (Piedmont, Patriot Academy, Jefferson County High School, and Mt. Horeb Elementary School) on a soft lockdown. These campuses are the closest to the bus garage and therefore selected for the soft lockdown.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and 911 were directly notified and transportation officials notified my office. It is part of the school’s protocol when these type events occur in the vicinity of a campus to enter a soft lockdown where classes continue as well as movement within the building but does not allow for entry or exit from the building. At no time were students in danger today as these steps were taken as precautions.

The soft lock down was lifted a short time later and schools resumed a normal day. We take our student safety very serious and appreciate the sheriff’s department and other law enforcement agency’s work today

Initially, it was reported that the inmate ‘walked off’ the site and therefore the decision to place the four schools located on Dumplin Valley Road on the soft lockdown. There was also speculation that the inmate had walked off but was picked up by an additional person. It was later discovered that the inmate stole one of the cars parked at the garage awaiting repairs.

A small group of inmates regularly help the garage site with cleaning of buses and routine maintenance under the direction of the garage mechanics. This district site hosts no students and houses transportation offices, the garage, and maintenance offices.

My office will continue to work with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, and we will be reviewing the events, and timeline, in order to address any breaches of protocol or procedures.”

Source: Dr. Shane Johnston