- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) - Overcrowding at the Whatcom County Jail could keep some offenders out of custody and on the streets as they await court proceedings.

The Bellingham Herald reports (https://bit.ly/29YZb5q ) that Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo notified Bellingham that once the downtown jail population nears a 212-inmate cap, city officers will not be able to book people on certain charges. If the cap is reached only people accused of felony charges could be booked.

The downtown jail has 283 beds but Elfo set a cap at 212 because he says that’s the number his staff can safely handle.

Voters turned down a plan to build a larger jail in November 2015.

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Information from: The Bellingham Herald, https://www.bellinghamherald.com

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