Douglas County Jail will upgrade its surveillance system with a $187,270 purchase from Siemens Industry. Douglas County Commission approved the purchase after an executive session Wednesday evening.
The purchase, which includes 86 new cameras with vandal domes, comes from the sheriff’s reserve fund. County administrator Craig Weinaug said the purchase uses most of the money in the fund, which is meant to pay for equipment replacement.
Kenneth Massey, undersheriff in the corrections division, said the jail’s current system had been installed in late 2006 or early 2007, and he was happy to get five years out of it.
“It’s become obsolete, so to speak, technology-wise,” he said.
The current system has about 20 fewer cameras than the upgrade, which will have a larger retention period for the images. The system the jail has now can hold surveillance for 30 to 45 days, depending on how much movement it’s recording.
The order from Siemens includes the cameras, three LCD screens, a computer, backup drives, multiple servers and software.
Because of privacy issues, the jail can’t record inside cells, but it does record in hallways and day areas in the jail. Massey said the new system will increase the safety of staff, inmates, volunteers and anyone else who moves through the jail.
“A good video system, a good recording system is worth its weight in gold,” Massey said. “It allows us to continue to provide safety and security to everyone that’s in and out of the facility.”
Normally, a large purchase would go through a bidding process, but because of compatibility issues, the commission and jail went with products that would work with what was already at the jail.