Benton-Franklin County Juvenile Justice Center seeking new security system

Kennewick: Sometimes it's hard to keep up with fast paced technology changes, and the Benton-Franklin County Juvenile Justice Center staff members say their security system has struggled to do this for the past 20 years.

There are two security systems inside the Juvenile Center. One system monitors the doors that go in and out of the facility. The second system communicates to juveniles over the intercoms.

The centers old security system dates all the way back to the 70s and the new one the 90s; making them both obsolete and not functional. Darryl Banks, the center's administrator, says a system that's 22-years-old comes with technical difficulties, lots of them.

"Periodically we may have part of the security system go out. We may have doors down for a couple days, or a camera out until we can find a replacement.," said Administrator Darryl Banks.

Typically, the replacement parts are found on E-Bay because they're not even sold in stores anymore. Banks says the prime responsibility in a Juvenile Center is security, yet lacking parts means lacking security.

At the beginning of 2018 this issue was brought to the Benton and Franklin County Commissioners, where staff members requested a study be done. After approval, an engineering firm issued that study and determined what needed to be done. Months later, the study was presented to the commissioners.

Now it's just a matter of getting funding. The goal is to replace the current system altogether, or perhaps even more.

$400,000 dollars would be the minimum cost to cover this project and would cover the cost of replacing the current system. The maximum number of $600,000 dollars would help to put more security cameras in the hallways and juvenile's rooms.

The commissioners plan to meet sometime in the next two weeks to come up with their budget plan.


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