New surveillance system sought for Justice Center


Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera informed Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton during their Wednesday meeting that the current analog camera system employed for surveillance at the Justice Center “is at the end of its life span.”

He said that Stanley Security told him that due to the age of system, which was installed when the Justice Center opened in 2001, replacement parts are no longer available and upgrades are no longer an option, adding that a recent camera failure required a three- to four-month wait in order to find a replacement.

The security company will continue to service the existing system, he said, but won’t be able to obtain any replacement parts in the event of camera breakdown.

The upgrade to a digital surveillance system, which Barrera said would increase the number of cameras in use from the current 47 to 71, and would add a pair of new work stations in the central control area and larger LCB television monitors, is estimated at $131,000.

Of the 24 additional cameras installed in the upgrade, he said that seven of them would be dedicated to 24-hours a day, 365 days a year storable video surveillance.

He said he had hoped to progress with the purchase and installation of a new body scanner at the jail facility, but the breakdown in the older camera system took precedence.

“In the past we’ve talked about the body scanner,” he said, “but unfortunately that’s one of the things you have to weigh about what you need more, and I think this time our camera systems are just something we absolutely need.”

Abernathy expressed regret about not being able to get the body scanner, saying that even though other counties are using the equipment for front-line security, he agreed with Barrera’s contention that the video surveillance system upgrade is more important, and that they would revisit the body scanner issue in the near future.

Britton requested that Barrera reach out to other sheriff’s offices in neighboring counties to see what systems they are using and at what cost, to see if a competing security firm might have a similar system at a comparable or lower price.

New vehicles were also on the sheriff’s “wish list,” with commissioners approving the purchase of a 2020 Chevrolet Express van for inmate transport from Jerry Haag Motors.

The commissioners said they would take under consideration the estimates for purchasing a pair of Ford Explorer police interceptors from Lebanon Ford.

Keith Blosser of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and Amy Hoffman of Palmer Energy Consultants met with commissioners to inform and interest them in participating in the CCAO’s energy program.

Blosser outlined the three-fold benefits of participating in the joint CCAO/Palmer Energy program, which were satisfying the state-requirement of competitive bidding, having Palmer Energy acting on behalf of all the participating Ohio counties and municipalities for large volume bidding on energy contracts, and allowing governing bodies such as the county commissioners to be active in the governance, voting and guidance of the program.

Although Duncan indicated an electrical supply contract was already in place, Hoffman said she would make inquiries and do the research into any potential cost savings related to natural gas and would present her findings to commissioners at a later date.

Also Wednesday, commissioners tabled the acceptance of a quote from Quad County Service and Repair for a general service contract for the Highland County Justice Center generator.

Quad County’s estimate of $1,155.65 was tabled for comparison to what was being paid to the prior contractor.

In other matters, five line item budget transfer resolutions were approved by commissioners and they accepted the resignation of Cathy Seifer as dog warden with the sheriff’s office animal control division, effective Sept. 28.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera, left and Chief Deputy Branden Stratton brief commissioners Wednesday on the need for upgrade to the Justice Center’s video surveillance system. County Sheriff Donnie Barrera, left and Chief Deputy Branden Stratton brief commissioners Wednesday on the need for upgrade to the Justice Center’s video surveillance system. Tim Colliver | The Times-Gazette
Sheriff also requests new vehicles during Wednesday meeting

By Tim Colliver

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