Opinion: Hamilton County Sheriff Hammond gets mixed review after defiant news conference

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond's defiant news conference Thursday proved he may only have four more months in office, but he doesn't plan to to go out as a scapegoat.

He was responding to a call by Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston for a U.S. Justice Department probe into recent violent incidents at the Silverdale Detention Center and its general operation.

But we think Hammond has a few points in his favor.

If this were a non-inflationary economy and hiring was easy at the Silverdale Detention Center, and if the center were completely finished out with proper housing for specific populations, the violence would be less understandable.

As it is, Hammond and his office had only six months to figure out how to run things at the center after private operator CoreCivic pulled out of its contract in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-2020.