- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - The Washington County Board of Supervisors is advertising for bids on a new camera system for the jail.

Assistant chief sheriff’s deputy Percy Miles, the jail’s interim warden, said the current system, which utilizes still cameras, is not up to the task.

The Delta Democrat Times reports (https://bit.ly/1c8KjzM ) that Miles told supervisors that some cameras produce blurry images and can only show one angle at a time.

Miles said he’s hoping for a system that will scan inside and outside the jail.

This won’t be the first time the county has advertised for bids to update the surveillance system.

County administrator Elizabeth Smith says the county has advertised several times in the past, but received no bids. The county by law is required to advertise for bids on purchases greater than $50,000.

“The system they’re talking about putting in now, not only would it be good for the inmates, it’ll be good for the sheriff to be able to take his cellphone and be able to look at the workers out there,” Supervisor Troy Wesley said. “They can check on the guards at the same time they’re checking on the inmates.”

Sheriff Milton Gaston Sr. said an updated system would help officers intercept contraband, particularly cellphones.

“We need to see if we can catch these cellphones,” Gaston told the supervisors. “Our phone money bank for inmates has gone down. They can get all in the building and hide with those cellphones while we can’t see them.”

Gaston said the jail used to bring in between $6,000 and $7,000 every two to four weeks from inmates paying to use jail phones.

“Now it has dropped down to $1,000, and it keeps going down. So we know the phones are in there,” he said.


Information from: Delta Democrat Times, https://www.ddtonline.com

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