Exclusive: Fulton County Sheriff calling for a change after recent shakedown finds over 200 weapons

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — With nearly 78 stabbings inside the Fulton County Jail, Sheriff Pat Labat sat down with Channel 2′s investigative reporter Mark Winne to discuss his plans to decrease violence.

The sheriff told Channel 2 Action News that over 200 shanks and homemade knives were located Wednesday during a massive shakedown inside the jail.

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“One of the things with a massive shakedown of this size, we inspect everything and we found weapons inside these phones,” Labat said, showing Winne some of the things that were confiscated.

Inmates have found creative ways to create weapons and it continues to happen as inmates take parts of the building and make weapons.

“These are parts of the building that have been used to create weapons—other types of weapons besides knives. Hard pipes to assault people with,” Labat said as he showed the weapons found during the shakedown.

The sheriff said nearly all the inmate-made weaponry involved items scavenged from the infrastructure of the aging jail and he has made it clear that he wants a new one.


Labat told Channel 2 Action News the massive haul came after he brought in help from the outside, including from the Georgia Department of Corrections arranged through Corrections Commissioner Tyrone Oliver.

Sheriffs from Coweta, Henry, and Fayette counties sent people, plus the Atlanta City Detention Center sent people to help Fulton County supplement their own employees from inside and outside the jail.

“Our goal is to continue to defeat these efforts of destroying the building and create a safer environment,” Labat said.

Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts said the county doesn’t need and can’t afford to build an entirely new jail right now but can renovate the existing main jail on Rice Street, a jail annex in Union City, and an old jail on Jefferson Street.

Pitts said the county could use a recently renovated jail in Alpharetta and acquire the Atlanta City Detention Center for less money. Plus, Pitts said he hopes the county’s criminal justice system can eventually function more efficiently resulting in fewer jail inmates.

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