Former superintendent details the security measures that could have prevented escape

Posted at 5:37 PM, Dec 03, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A former superintendent of the juvenile detention center in downtown Nashville said the escape of four juveniles from the facility is a worst case scenario.

Pat Curran ran the facility for 15 years until 2015. He's now retired. Upon hearing that four potentially dangerous teens had escaped the facility, he had a number of questions.

"Were the cameras operational, were the monitors in master control working properly....the security doors, did the locks work?" asked Curran.

Curran said the only way out of the facility when he was operating it was through human error, which is what happened Saturday night.

"There's a camera inside the elevator. Whether it works or not I have no clue. It worked when we were there. There's also a camera that point down to the elevator door. And our policy was the officer would punch the button for the elevator, the master control operator would come on the intercom and say Identify yourself and they would identify themselves. Then the operator in master control would look at the monitor to make sure they were who they said they were," said Curran.

He said staff were trained on all of the company policies, including what to do in the event of an escape.

According to Youth Opportunity Investments, the current contractor of the facility, staff are supposed to call police first in the event of an escape and not look for the escapees themselves. They ignored both requirements.

Also, Curran has questions about how the kids were able to get past multiple security doors that were in place in the basement around the elevator when he was working there. The teens simply ran out the front door.

"There's some very dangerous children down there. I call them dangerous because they're young, but they're still committing adult crimes," he said.