4OYS: Viewer pic leads to MDC investigation

Posted at: 01/15/2013 10:03 PM
Updated at: 01/15/2013 10:17 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Metropolitan Detention Center is investigating one of its own after the KOB 4 On Your Side team started asking questions about a photo.

The photo shows dozens of MDC inmates crammed into a trailer and the bed of a pickup truck.  While in traffic, Karen Edmondson snapped the photo with her iPhone and then turned them over to the 4 On Your Side Team to investigate.

"It's a very busy and dangerous intersection and riding like that just didn't look like it should be done in a government vehicle," Edmondson said. 

As it turns out, an MDC employee broke policy and basic seatbelt laws when he crammed the work detail inmates into the trailer and truck bed.

"There will be a full investigation with all those involved," said MDC captain Roy Hartman.  “I took it up with the supervisor of the detail, expressed my beliefs and the chiefs beliefs as well.  This isn't going to be tolerated."

The inmates are part of a litter crew.  They go around Bernalillo County cleaning up parks and public buildings.  But the photo shows the crew without seatbelts or any safety measures. 

"This is something that to my knowledge has never happened in the past and if I can help it will never happen again," said Hartman. 

According to Hartman, the litter detail is usually transported in a van, equipped with seatbelts and security measures. 

Hartman said it is possible that MDC employees may be disciplined after an internal investigation.