The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 11, 2013

County board OKs detention center security system

DANVILLE — Vermilion County Board members put county officials the fast track in replacing a security and monitoring system for the Juvenile Detention Center.

Board members voted to approve an emergency declaration to repair the system during Tuesday’s county board meeting. The emergency declaration allows officials to bypass committee approval as well as the bidding process in order to move quickly on the project.

Failing cameras, entry locks and outdated equipment were among the problems cited in the Juvenile Detention Center’s Intergrator System.

Judy Hartshorn, director of the Juvenile Detention Center, described the system as “the heart” of the center, controlling door locks, communication to juveniles in rooms and overall video monitoring of the facility. She told the board that as many as half of the system’s cameras have failed up to his point.

Constructed more than a decade ago, the center located at 150 E. Sager St. has used the same system for security as well as recording activities and events in the rooms, hallways and other locations in the building from the beginning.

Hartshorn said the price of the new system will be $86,000, not including the cost of electrical work. The company that installed the original system has indicated it can upgrade and improve the set up without replacing the entire system.

Asked if she thought the security and safety of detention center staff and juveniles warranted an emergency declaration, Hartshorn said, “Absolutely.”

As a result, it will be proposed that the money used for the new security/monitoring system come from a recent legal settlement of a 2005 lawsuit with the City of Danville. The county received around $112,000 in the settlement — which should cover the price of the new system.

The building commission has not put a capital improvements account into place since getting the bond issue to build the juvenile detention center.

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