Since its opening in January 2004, the Pettis County Jail has housed on average 5,000 prisoners per year.
It has remained a safe facility for the community, employees and inmates.
Only one inmate has escaped in the 11 years the facility has been in operation.
“When I first took office I did an audit of the jail and found what I believed to be some deficiencies in our security,” Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond said. “We have taken steps to ensure that all areas of the facility are safe.”
The Pettis County Commission is reviewing bids for an upgrade to the security system, hoping to replace it with a more efficient one to make the jail an even more secure facility.
The jail has multiple systems in place including double-locking electronic doors, alarms and camera and human surveillance to ensure safety in the facility.
“The system that we currently have still functions very well,” Bond said, “One of the problems we are facing though is that the original company who we purchased the system from will no longer service the system.
“We can’t just call them up and say we need them to service part of the system,” Bond said. “We would rather take a proactive approach than find ourselves in a situation that we couldn’t take care of.”
Bond said now the staff at the jail is maintaining the system.
“It’s not a critical need that the system be replaced right now,” Bond said. “But the commissioners have a systematic plan for upgrades and I am extremely grateful that they have the long-range foresight for these situations.”
The county commission received three bids for the jail system upgrades.
“We really had a great deal of disparity in the range of the bids,” Presiding Commissioner David Dick said. “The system is a highly proprietary one and we are trying to get away from that with the new system.”
The commissioners have gone back to the companies who submitted bids and have asked for additional information to be provided before they accept any bid.
“The nice thing about the systems we are looking at is that we will be able to replace components as needed,” Bond added. “It is not an all or none system and we will be able to integrate new technology as it becomes available.”
Bond said he expects a decision to be made on the new system in the upcoming weeks and the system to be installed by the first of the year.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484