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Commission approves new security cameras in Gilchrist Jail

By John Ayers
The Gilchrist County Commission held an Emergency public meeting Monday, November 26, 2018 to consider emergency action to upgrade security cameras in the Gilchrist County Jail. Todd Gray, Vice Chairman of the Gilchrist Commission called this meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. Mr. Gray recognized Bobby Crosby, Gilchrist County Administrator to present the Emergency Action to the five board members in attendance.
Mr Crosby reported that the Gilchrist County Jail has had security cameras that have not been operational for some time. Brent Owens, IT Director with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office reported that 13 security cameras are currently operational in the inmate secured areas of the facility. Mr. Crosby explained to the Commission that Cam Connections, a division of ADT presented a proposal to Gilchrist County that included 33 new improved cameras, new cable in some new locations and installation for $40,848.21. The proposal also included a monthly service that would have the company service the system following the 90-day warrant for $395.48 a month. The service contract would cost Gilchrist County an additional $24K during a 5-year period of time. Todd Newton, Gilchrist Clerk of Court pointed out that routine acts of mother nature, lightning and other unforeseen issues are not covered by this additional service contract.
Brent Owens explained that the security cameras that are currently in the facility are over eight year old. The IT Director pointed out that Gilchrist County had worked with Cam Connections in the past, new security cameras in the Gilchrist County Courthouse and also in the Gilchrist County Emergency Operations Center north of Bell. The life expectancy of these security cameras is from 6 to 8 years. Owens explained that these units are operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they are never turned off.
Commissioner Gray asked if the new camera system could be worked into the present cable, and electrical system that is currently in place. The new cameras will use that connecting system that is in place and additional cameras will be installed and new cable systems will link the new cameras into the complete security system.
Commissioner Martin asked since Gilchrist County is considering the construction of a new jail facility, could these 33 new cameras be removed from this facility and be used in the new correctional facility when the time comes? He was assured that yes, these new cameras could be used in the new jail when that time comes. The proposed new jail is reported to have 43 security cameras when the multi-million dollar facility is completed.
Attorney Lang explained to the Commission that the purchase of this proposal is based on an emergency action that is being taken by Gilchrist County for security purposes. If the Commission decides to purchase this camera system from this proposal, the county is dispensing from the county bid procedure due to this security issue.
A motion was made by Commissioner Thomas and Commissioner Martin gave a second to the proposed action to approve the purchase of the 33-security camera system with installation by Cam Connections for $40,848.21 pending questions being resolved involving certain cameras identified and the agreement is approved by Gilchrist County legal staff. Chairman Gray called for a vote and the Commission approved the motion to purchase by a unanimous vote of the board. The Commission did not purchase the proposed service contract that was also being proposed with the security system.
County Administrator Crosby reported that the system could be purchased by revenue that is currently in the Gilchrist County Jail budget. The installation of this new system will be installed as soon as possible.

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