Upgrade planned for HC Jail

Published 9:22 am Thursday, August 6, 2009

WINTON – There’s more to operating a jail than a simple lock and key.

In the case of the Hertford County Law Enforcement Center in Winton, plans have been officially launched to upgrade to a new security system.

“From the discussions I’ve had with the Sheriff (Juan Vaughan) we see the need for a fully integrated system,” Hertford County Manager Loria Williams told the county commissioners at their Monday morning meeting.

That new system, all computer controlled, will include digital color cameras (a departure from the old, black-and-white analog models) placed at numerous spots throughout the jail area as well as the Sheriff’s administrative office area.

Additionally, the upgrade will include fire protection, an intercom system and new security doors.

“We haven’t experienced any problems with the security doors that were installed when this building was first opened, but like everything else in the world, things become obsolete over a period of time,” Williams told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald after Monday’s meeting. “The way we see this, if you opt to do an upgrade, then let’s do it with the latest technology that fits our budget.”

During Monday’s discussion, Williams fielded several questions in regards to the price tag of the upgrade.

“I’m unsure of the cost because the Sheriff and I are still in the process of listing exactly all that is needed, but I do remember Northampton County upgrading their jail security system a couple of years ago and that project was in the $200,000 range,” Williams said. “The Sheriff and I will put together a RFP (Request for Proposals) over the next few weeks and then advertise the project.”

Williams added that the project would be financed through a three-to-five year lease-purchase agreement.

Plans to upgrade the Law Enforcement Center and jail were put on hold during the last fiscal year due to a spending freeze.

The commissioners voted to approve a request to advertise and solicit RFP’s for the project.