- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Coconino County is reducing paper used to log inmate movements by implementing a tracking system that relies on high-tech wristbands.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports (https://bit.ly/1Jn2jAG) Detention Lt. Thomas Hover says the project has been in the works for five years. The plan is to reduce the amount of paper waste produced at the Coconino County Detention Facility near Flagstaff and the Page Holding Facility.

“We’re really excited to get it up and running,” he said.

County supervisors approved $94,000 in jail enhancement and district funds for the system. Inmates will be fitted with plastic wristbands loaded with data, including biometric information.

“What we’re using the RFID system for is to reduce our reliance on paper logs,” Hover said. “It allows us to save all the stuff that we’ve been generating for years by handwritten means, it allows us to save that data for as long as we need to and it won’t take up the space that the paper was. We generate a lot of paper waste.”

Guards can scan the wristband and log an inmate’s movements into the jail’s computer system via Wi-Fi.

The system will also keep track of guards as they do security checks.

Coconino County contracted with Minnesota-based company Guardian RFID to install the system. Company officials are installing placards where guards can scan in.

“When we do our security checks, the officer will walk by and they’ll have to tag in (to prove) that they were in that spot,” Hover said. “It’s going to create more accountability for officers, as well as liability protection for the department.”

Hover says he’s hoping to ask for more funds in a few years to upgrade the facility’s Wi-Fi network, among other improvements.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, https://www.azdailysun.com/

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