Contract awarded for jail security system

AMANDA CLARK, GRAPHIC STAFF WRITER

A contract was awarded on Monday for security system improvements to the Nash County Detention Center.

Nash County Commissioners agreed to award a contract to Johnson Controls for $182,500.

Jonathan Boone, Director of Public Utilities and Facilities, presented the request for proposals to commissioners on Monday during the board's regular meeting.

A request for proposals was issued on August 27 with a deadline of September 5 for proposals to be received.

Boone said two proposals came in; one from Cornerstone Detention Products for $359,573 and a second from Johnson Controls for $182,500.

Cornerstone Detention Products installed the current system in the detention facility in April of this year, Boone said.

In a memo to County Manager Zee Lamb, Boone said in addition to the significant savings to go with Johnson Controls, the proposal submitted provides for "additional functionality and advance analytics that is anticipated to significantly enhance the county's ability to manage the facility and to identify deleterious inmate behavior."

Boone said in addition to security improvements, a multi-year annual service agreement was also being worked on with Johnson Controls, though it was not included in the proposal. The service agreement will ensure the equipment receives ongoing maintenance and that the overall system operates as intended for years to come.

"Once completed, the Detention Facility is expected to have a total of 117 cameras," Boone said in the memo. "Given the significant investment made by the county in this hardware and the importance of these cameras in terms of the Sheriff's Office's ability to operate and maintain the jail and to provide for the health and safety of the detention officers and inmates, it is imperative that this system receive ongoing maintenance and that any operational issues are addressed in a timely and professional manner."

As part of the security improvements, over 50 additional cameras would be installed in the detention center. In addition, a new server would be installed with video storage capabilities of 30 plus days.

The existing 65 cameras would be converted to be used with the new server.

In addition, dome cameras would be installed throughout the facility.

Improvements to the Nash County Detention Center has been something the county has been working on for several months. Commissioners approved $500,000 in the 2020 Fiscal Year Budget to fund some of the improvements.

This was in addition to the $120,000 approved for plumbing improvements at the facility and $125,000 approved to modernize the elevator at the Nash County Sheriff's Office," Boone said.

Some projects have already been completed or are already underway, Boone added.

Those improvements include renovations to dorms one, two and three; repairs to locks, door sensors and the central control software; the relocation of several existing cameras and the installation of additional call boxes in the facility; reinforcement of fencing and gates on the perimeter of the facility outside of dorms one, two and three as well as the female dorm; and lighting upgrades in the bar section of the jail.

"Safety is certainly a very important issue," Boone said. "From the onset of our meetings, one of the top priorities for the Sheriff's Office has been the expansion of the security system and video cameras to remotely monitor activity in the facility."

Commissioners unanimously approved awarding the contract to Johnson Controls, subject to review and approval of the improvements by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and upon successful negotiation of a multi-year annual maintenance contract with Johnson Control for the entire system.