Marianne, is sick. (KFVS) – The Williamson County Sheriff’s Department is upgrading its technology from inside the jail to outside the facility.
Sheriffs are replacing their 25-year-old radio system, adding a drone with infrared cameras and screening machines to the prison to ensure no inmates bring in any contraband.
“The drone itself with an infrared camera would greatly improve the safety of officers,” said Scott McCabe, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department’s chief deputy.
This is just one of the new devices the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department has purchased.
“Whether it’s a fleeing suspect, if we can keep that person in an area, we can use drones and cameras to capture the suspect’s body temperature; instead of having our deputies blindly look for this person,” McCabe Say.
He said their new drone could also be used to help find missing people.
Sheriffs are also destroying their 25-year-old walkie-talkies and using funds from the American Recovery Plan Act to buy new communications equipment.
“So, this will enable our deputies and other officials from other departments to communicate,” he continued.
The work has been ongoing since 2019, McCabe said. This new one will give delegates more ways to communicate. The cost of the new system is $173,296.10.
“As long as our reps have a cell phone, if for some reason they can’t get out on the radio, they can be anywhere in the country where they have cell signal and use the app that comes with the system, and their smartphone will essentially become a walkie-talkie, ‘ McCabe said.
The prison has also added more security measures for handling inmates.
“This machine does what we call a full body scan. It scans you from head to toe, it captures anything, bones, density levels, and it can see different levels.” Williamson County Prison Warden Todd Hunter Say, nothing can be sealed through this scanner.
Hunter said they’ve got the new machine to work.
“Smuggling contraband is what criminals do, but this machine here has already helped in just one week of use,” Hunter said.
Hunter also said employee safety was a top consideration when choosing a machine like this.
“It’s very safe, it’s a low dose, which is a problem for some of the staff, radiation problems. Very low dose. It’s minimal. Again, each prisoner can go through here 125 times a year. Very low dose radiation,” Hunter said.
The new radio system should be up and ready for use within the next few months, McCabe said. It all depends on supply chain issues.
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