HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – The Huntington County Jail is undergoing major renovations and getting some much needed upgrades as a part of a $520,000 project approved by the sheriff.
Project renovations began in December. The jail was built in 1983 and has not undergone any major upgrades. Jail Commander, Jeff Kyle, said the project is needed for the safety and security of staff and inmates. Some of the improvements include a new roof which was put in last year to replace the old one which leaked. There are now new showers that are mold proof. The jail added more security cameras, and there are also new tamper free doors.
“Before our old door system, if the inmates, in the middle of the night, wanted to get out and do something, they could be popped with a comb,” Kyle said.
He said it didn’t happen very often, but there would be times when inmates would get out of their cell after “lights out” and take showers, roam around their cell blocks, or fight other inmates.
“I feel pretty comfortable now that nobody’s going to be jumping out at me,” Kyle said. “No fights will be broken out if they’re all locked down.”
Perhaps one of the biggest improvements is a new digitized control panel. Now, staff can access security cameras from all over the building on their desktop computers. They can remotely operate cell block doors, and if a problem occurs, staff will know about it more quickly. Footage from the security cameras will be stored for a longer period of time which will aid in possible investigations. The jail is also increasing security by arming its staff with tasers instead of pepper spray. The staff began training for taser use Saturday because you can only use a taser if you’ve been tased. Once the staff goes through training, they will write policies surrounding the use of tasers, and then, they will be implemented.
“It’s going to make us more efficient,” Kyle said. “It’s going to make us more aware of what’s going on. It’s just going to be good for the jail staff and the safety and security of this facility.”
Kyle said the upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of March.