Arlington’s new sheriff entered office by launching an initiative he believes will help keep prisoners safer.
Jose Quiroz, who became sheriff Jan. 6 upon the retirement of Beth Arthur, announced plans to have incarcerees monitored by biometric methods – through wristbands – to supplement health-and-welfare checks that already exist.
The effort is designed to prevent jail deaths, specifically deaths caused by suicide, substance-use withdrawal and underlying medical conditions, Quiroz said via a press release sent out by his campaign. He is one of three contenders seeking the party’s nomination for sheriff in the June Democratic primary.
The effort will focus initially on incarcerees in the medical areas of the Arlington County Detention Facility, and officials are “exploring” the possibility of implementing the effort facility-wide by next year.
The leadership of the Sheriff’s Office has come under fire from some quarters in recent years for a number of inmate deaths.
Quiroz last year was tapped by Arthur to serve as chief deputy for the department, a position that automatically made him sheriff upon the incumbent’s retirement after 22 years as sheriff and 36 years in the office. Arthur has said she is supporting Quiroz in the Democratic primary, which also will feature Wanda Younger (a retired Sheriff’s Office official) and James Herring (a county police officer).