IT'S A HEALTH RISK: Officer voices concerns over rats he encountered at Travis County Jail

The Travis County Jail houses about 200 inmates and some potential unwanted visitors. About a week-and-a-half ago an officer told FOX 7 he was processing a prisoner at the Travis County Jail when heard rats scampering in the ceiling above his head.

"I look at the jailer like what in the heck is that? And they are like--rats," he said. "That is absolutely disgusting and while I'm carrying a conversation with the person they are literally running over our heads, I'm just like WOW I really hope one doesn't fall through."

The officer said he felt the need to speak out because an infestation can pose a health risk. "That's not acceptable because you have people who don't have a choice both prisoners and workers who don't have a choice there and that presents a huge safety issue to them but also the people going in there."

TCSO Public Information Officer Kristen Dark said they contract with a pest and rodent control company which treats the jail once a month. Last month, the Travis County Jail passed its required state inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards as well as health inspections. Dark said the office has not received any reports of mice or rats in the jail but cannot speak to the Arrest Review area of the jail. 

The Arrest Review area is where Austin Police work and is maintained by the county.

Hector Nieto said the county's pest control contractor serviced the area on May 23 and that a work order request was made on July 23rd.

"There should be no rat's period in the building at all that's an immediate safety issue and anyone that happens to have something bad happen because of something like that, that can be attributed to that, someone needs to be responsible for it," said the officer.