County looks at $1.2 million cost to replace jail security system

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is looking at bids of about $1.2 million to replace the security system in the jail.

At a County Council work session this week, County IT director Scott Mayes said the bids are being reviewed now and he expects to have firm numbers to present to the council in a couple of weeks. The bids include several options including renting the system from a vendor, rather than purchasing it outright, and various maintenance plans. The specs sent out for bid also included building expandability into the system, so more cameras could be added in the future or more storage space for video.

Replacing the system will take six to eight months and it is a first step to allowing the jail to address overcrowding concerns. The new system would allow oversight of the old portion of the jail that is currently unused.

Sheriff Matt Myers and his staff said the jail has about 240 inmates on a daily basis, with more than 255 on Monday. In essence, he said the jail is now a small prison.

County Council members said they would like to pay for half of the upgrade from revenues that are coming in from last year’s income tax hike aimed at public safety projects and the rest from economic development income tax revenue controlled by the Bartholomew County Commissioners.