The sheriff isn’t the problem at Tarrant County Jail. It’s a lack of people to run it | Opinion

People needed

The sheriff is not the problem with the Tarrant County Jail.

In 1987, I persuaded the Commissioners Court to build the new jail using a design known as direct supervision architecture, because it can be much safer. However, that method of supervision and architecture is only safer if the jail is fully staffed by properly trained jailers. Under the jail’s current short staffing, it cannot be safe for staff or inmates.

This staffing shortage is a problem not just for the sheriff but also for the Commissioners Court. It is hard to recruit new jailers because they deal mostly with dangerous criminals. The only way to hire in this circumstance is to aggressively increase pay for fully trained jailers who can work safely in the direct supervision mode.

- Clete McAlister, Arlington

The writer is a former Tarrant County official.

Cruz’s loyalty

Sen. Ted Cruz was in full form recently as a leader of the GOP Buffoon Caucus. He could barely contain himself in the presence of Donald Trump when the former president returned to Capitol Hill.

When Texans need serious leadership from our senators, Cruz seems determined to whine or hear himself bloviate during committee meetings. Above and beyond the nuisance of pretending to be a senator, Cruz’s sole ambition is absolute fealty to Trump.

- Raymon D. Fullerton III, Fort Worth

Garden for all?

I am horrified that Fort Worth is allowing the True Texas Project, a hate group, to have a rally at the city-owned Botanic Garden. (June 16, 13A, “City orders Fort Worth Botanic Garden to permit controversial group to use venue”) Does the garden belong to special rich people or the residents of Fort Worth? I will not feel welcome there after July 12 and 13.

If the city must let the True Texas Project use the facility, it should provide for an on-site protest at the same time. After all, it is a public square. Not everyone in Fort Worth agrees with the group’s sick philosophy.

- Judith M. Bennett, Saginaw

Social media risk

As CEO of Lena Pope, a nonprofit group that provides mental health, I commend Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy’s call for social media warning labels for young users. It’s time we prioritize protective measures around platforms proven to harm adolescents’ well-being.

Although social media offers connectivity, its negative effects on youth development — from fostering approval-seeking behaviors to distorting self-identity — are undeniable. We must no longer overlook the risks of online bullying and mental health strain exacerbated by these platforms.

Parents play a crucial role in guiding safe social media use: setting screen-free times, monitoring usage and fostering real-life self-esteem. It’s essential to teach children to distinguish online personas from reality and encourage open discussions about mental health.

Let’s advocate for policies that enforce responsibility from tech giants and empower families to navigate these digital landscapes safely.

- Ashley Elgin, Fort Worth

Gateway questions

The June 19 front-page story on Gateway Church pastor Robert Morris said that church elders said they were “thankful” allegations of sexual abuse had been exposed. (“Gateway Church pastor resigns over 1980s abuse of young girl”)

But if the elders are so thankful, why didn’t they expose the sexual abuse when Morris informed them about it? Are we to believe that over the years when new elders were appointed, they weren’t told to keep their children away from Morris?

Looks to me as if the lies and cover-up are in full-speed-ahead mode. I would also guess that the elders are a bunch of weak-kneed old men without a single woman to give them some backbone.

- Larry Mason, Azle