The Warren County Jail will be upgrading some of its communications equipment.
In a Friday morning meeting of the county’s Jail Oversight Committee, commissioners voted 4-0 to replace both the current repeater and several outdated radios.
According to Communications Evo-lutions owner Richard Myers, “For a long time they have had problems with communications throughout the jail. When we put this repeater in, you’ll be able to talk all over this jail and the immediate area.”
A repeater amplifies incoming radio signals and retransmits them, compensating for transmission losses. This will eliminate the issue of dead spots or areas with poor reception.
Communications Evo-lutions gave a quote of $2,845 for a replacement repeater. The amount could decrease if the existing repeater already has a duplexer, if a cabinet to house the unit is purchased, and how much coaxial is needed.
The quote also included a FCC license, which the jail does not currently have. Although they have previously operated without incident, failure to have a license could result in fines if noted by the FCC. Per Myers, it will take a couple of weeks to coordinate, then once filed the license should be received in 10 days. The license is good for 10 years and there is no charge to renew.
Commissioners also voted to purchase 10 new radios. The extra-rugged Motorola radios will replace 10 of the worst radios out of the 14 presently in use. Additional batteries may also be purchased.
The quote for the 10 radios from Communications Evolutions was $4,490.
Jail administrator Eddie Knowles and county maintenance supervisor Greg Bowdoin touched on some minor maintenance issues of the jail property and grounds. These issues had already been resolved or are in the process of repair.
Sheriff Jackie Matheny reported the jail currently houses 255 inmates, with 61 of those being women. This number changed slightly from what was reported at the Warren County Commission meeting on Monday, as some inmates had been transferred to prison or moved to another county jail. The total capacity of the jail is 251.
To orientate the new members of the Jail Oversight Committee, Knowles gave a tour of the facility. Chairman Morris Bond and Commissioners Carl D. Bouldin, Billy Earl Jones, Kenny Roberts, and Scott Rubley spent several minutes touring many of the areas, including intake, the kitchen, and the crow’s nest, where inmates are viewed by jail officers.