WILLMAR, Minn. — The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed to technological upgrades of the jail’s outdated security system.
The West Central Tribune reports that after 17 years in operation, the Kandiyohi County Jail has started to show some of the first signs of aging, prompting the county to make investments in new security and surveillance systems in order to keep up to date with technology.
Sheriff Dan Hartog reportedly told officials that the jail’s lock system has aged to the point where spare parts are no longer available and corrections officers must manually lock and unlock the doors, a time-consuming task that raises the level of security risk for personnel.
“We would have the money in boarding revenue to take care of those costs,” said Hartog to the Tribune.
The upgrade will reportedly be funded by revenue the jail receives from the Minnesota Department of Corrections for boarding prisoners from other jurisdictions.
The Tribune reports that boarding revenue has been flowing in higher than anticipated for the county this year, leaving a surplus of funds that will cover the cost of the project.
Accurate Controls Inc., the same company that installed the jail’s original electronic door lock system, will reportedly manage the upgrade of the current system that is estimated to cost $194,000.
The county is also reportedly investing $450,000 on an enhanced surveillance system. The investment includes the replacement of the current camera system that provides surveillance inside the jail and around the outside perimeter.
The Tribune reports that the new surveillance cameras will provide better images and improve the ability to monitor inmates and correctional officers for safety and security.
Installation of the new surveillance system began months ago and will be complete in the fall.
Hartog also reportedly told commissioners about a shortage of holding cells and increasingly cramped space in the intake area of the jail. He reportedly told the county that it needed to consider bringing in an architect to look at that section of the jail and draw up plans for a possible renovation.
A report from The West Central Tribune contributed to this story.