Posted by Terry Everett on Aug 28, 2019
      Last week we all toured Grayson County's largest hotel.  Interestingly enough, although they don't take reservations, they are at full capacity most of the time.  
      They have an auxiliary location out at the North Texas Regional Airport to help with their overflow population.  When beds are no longer available in Grayson County, they have special arrangements set up with other counties in the state to house those needing a a place to stay.  
      Grayson County is one of the safest places to stay.  New state-of-the-art cameras were installed earlier this year to make it an even safer place for everyone.
Three meals a day are included with your stay.  Their kitchen receives Grayson County Health Department's highest rating.  They will also accommodate those requiring special dietary needs.  
      They also offer something that very few, if any other, all-inclusive places provide.  They have free, in-house medical care.  If the occasion arises for increased medical attention, they provide transportation to one of the local hospitals.  There have been times when a woman has given birth during her stay and they picked up the tab. For those who may require extra security around the clock while in the hospital, it is also provided free of charge.  During your stay, you will also be given a special, custom wardrobe consisting of an orange jumpsuit and matching orange crocs.  
      Yes, as you've already guessed, this all-inclusive facility isn't really a hotel, but the Grayson County Jail with a capacity of almost 500 inmates.  They continually have to deal with overcrowding as well.  
      Overcrowding adds to the daily issues of where to put the inmates.  Some inmates are at a higher risk. Some require special needs.  Men and women inmates must be separated at all times.  The female population continues to increase mostly due to illegal narcotics.  
In the entrance of the jail, Sheriff Tom Watt explained a large mural honoring all 25 of the county's law enforcement officers known to have died while in he line of duty since the 1800s.  The full-color painting fills an entire wall which includes images of a Grayson County Sheriff Office Honor Guard standing watch; a depiction of good versus evil illustrated by an angel standing over the devil; and two lions looking directly at the names of the fallen officers cast on individual plaques.  The mural was painted by local artist Sydney Sbarbaro.
      There are many, much needed improvements taking place inside the facility as well.  They have moved all of the computers where officers work and file reports to a room out of sight of the public eye.  They have remodeled their evidence room into a conference room and moved all the evidence to a more secure area.  
In regards to the previously mentioned upgrade of security cameras, they also increased the number of cameras from 125 to 167.  This helped cover some of the blind spots they had before.  Better yet, they can see everything in more detail.  The $500,000 cost was covered by the Grayson County Commissioners for $300,000 and the Grayson County Sheriff's Office commissary fund for $200,000.