Corrections and confections? Ice cream, food trucks coming to Okaloosa County Jail

Tony Judnich
Northwest Florida Daily News

CRESTVIEW — Bordered by fences topped with barbed wire, the parking lot at the Okaloosa County Jail will soon be temporarily transformed into a fun and colorful setting with aromas of delicious food filling the air.

To celebrate National Correctional Officers Week and National Nurses Appreciation Week, officials from the county Department of Corrections will host an array of food trucks next to the jail at 1200 E. James Lee Blvd. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 3-7.

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The public are invited to drop by and purchase to-go orders from the food trucks, which include Love & Tacos, Wings on Wheels, Greek Gals Yummies, Gwen’s Wing Snack, Joe’s Caribe, My Ohana, Curry in a Hurry, La Salsa Mexican Cuisine, Tiana’s Lunchbox, Cheesus and Gman on the Go.

The food truck schedule is available at bit.ly/2QempOgFoodTruckSchedule. An ATM will be available on site.

From noon to 3 p.m. May 7, members of Cinco Baptist Church will provide free ice cream for all attendees.

In recent weeks, county officials have hosted cookouts for employees of various county departments, such as public works.

While the Department of Corrections has had picnics during previous National Correctional Officers Week events, the upcoming celebration will mark the first time that it’s hosted an open-to-the-public food truck event, county spokeswoman April Sarver said.

These food trucks add to the ambiance of historic downtown Crestview . The city of Crestview has laid out a plan for expected growth.

She said this year’s celebration will honor a total of 125 correctional officers and other employees of the Department of Corrections, as well as 28 Corizon Health employees who work at the jail.

Anyone who would like to sponsor a corrections staff member’s meal at the event is asked to contact correctional officer Nikki Small at 850-368-6087 or nsmall@myokaloosa.com.

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Previously:Loved ones mourn death of corrections officer who died after fighting COVID

Like most of the rest of the world, the Department of Corrections has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On New Year’s Day, 38-year-old county correctional officer Jason Goen died after fighting COVID-19.

Shortly after Goen’s death, a representative of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Florida voiced concerns about several issues at the jail, such as overcrowding and the spread of COVID-19 at the facility.

A correctional officer walks past a housing unit at the Okaloosa County Jail in Crestview. The public is invited to sample fare from food trucks that will be parked next to the jail May 3-7 as part of National Correctional Officers Week.

The union had been trying to unionize various Okaloosa County workers, including about 100 correctional officers.

Officers who turned out to vote in mid-March rejected the call for unionization by a 40-25 count, according to County Administrator John Hofstad.