Jail to get new security system

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2014

Soon, it will be just a little bit harder for inmates in the Covington County Jail to dispose of contraband.

The county commission on Thursday approved a bid for a new touch-screen security system that will allow jail administrators not only to monitor inmates more closely, but also will allow them to turn off water to prevent flooding or the flushing of contraband.

“We haven’t had a problem with this lately,” Sheriff Dennis Meeks said. “But when they start flooding, it’s like when they’re mad about something. They start flushing all the toilets and running water in the sinks until the system is overloaded.”

While corrections officers currently can turn off the water before conducting a search, they cannot do so without inmates knowing.

“They can see what we’re about to do,” Meeks said. “With this, we’ll hit the touchscreen, then go do it.”

Montgomery Technology Inc. submitted the low bid for the system, which was included in budgeting set aside for the current addition underway at the jail. The cost is $157,295.

There will be additional plumbing costs for installing the controls.

The commission also met in closed session for about 30 minutes to discuss the good name and character of employees involved in a personnel issue, but took no action after the session.