Friday, October 31, 2014

More cameras approved for county jail surveillance

By CRYSTAL HERBER, Herald Staff Writer | 11/28/2012

The jail will get its cameras.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 Wednesday in favor of purchasing additional surveillance cameras for the Franklin County Detention Center, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa. Twelve cameras and one digital video recorder, expected to cost $21,900, will be installed in the area where the juveniles previously were housed at the Main Street location.

The jail will get its cameras.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 Wednesday in favor of purchasing additional surveillance cameras for the Franklin County Detention Center, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa. Twelve cameras and one digital video recorder, expected to cost $21,900, will be installed in the area where the juveniles previously were housed at the Main Street location.

“I just believe this is the intent that we had in the beginning to utilize this space, and if this is what it’s going to take to get it up to snuff I would like to make a motion to go forward with this request,” Commissioner Don Stottlemire said.

After the juvenile offenders were moved into the new 226 S. Beech St. facility, the intention was to put additional adult inmates in the empty area.

Gene Hirt, a Williamsburg resident, expressed his approval of the surveillance system purchase during public comments on the topic.

The cameras are likely to help reduce damage inside the jail and reduce the risk of liability, Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Curry told the commissioners before they voted. A little more than half of the equipment’s cost, $11,900, will be taken from the inmate accounts. The inmate accounts include the inmate commissary account and the inmate work release fund.

According to the Oct. 31 bank statement, the inmate commissary account has $31,375.83 in it. Those funds are accrued through inmates who purchase items from the commissary, such as beverages ranging in price from $1 to $5 and hygiene items from 70 cents to $7. When an inmate buys an item from the commissary list, Lisa Johnson, county administrator and counselor, said, that money is put into the inmate account. Many of the commissary items are purchased by the county from Wichita Canteen Company. Funds from the inmates’ purchase of phone cards, as well as the purchase of bedding and mattresses, also are put into that account.

The inmate work release trust fund, according to the Oct. 31 bank statement, has $18,338.57.

The sheriff’s request to the board, which it approved, was to allow the use of $10,000 from the inmate housing fund to pay the balance for the system. In 2012, $60,000 was budgeted in the account, which was to be used if excess inmates had to be housed out of county. The county has not had to use the money for that purpose, Curry said, so the account remains intact.

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