Jail passes inspection, new administrator starts

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, April 27, 2013

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Sheriff David Walker reported to county commissioners April 15 that the jail passed a recent inspection by the State Jail Commission.

“The staff is doing a good job,” he said. “We go through those inspections every year, and the inspector is always complimentary on how clean it is and how well it’s running.”

Walker also told commissioners that Rick Denney has been hired as new jail administrator. He started Wednesday and replaces Ken Steel, who retired Jan. 31. Captain Jerry Gillin had been serving as interim jail administrator since Steel’s retirement. He will remain jail captain under Denney.

Walker also asked that commissioners approve the installation of a T3 line for Internet connection at the Sheriff’s Office.

“The DSL isn’t working,” he said. “It’s set up for 20 to 30 computers each, and they’re unstable. We’ve got at least 30 to 40 people trying to get on all the time.”

Cost for the T3 line is $1,145 per month. Commissioners approved a contract with CenturyLink for the service.

They also approved Walker’s move of Officer Heinrich Downes to an in-house information technology post.

Randy Joy is the county’s information technology manager and oversees the computer systems and technology needs of all the county offices. Walker said while Joy does a good job, he needs someone solely dedicated to his department.

“I need somebody at our office all the time to keep things moving,” the sheriff said. “We can keep someone busy 23 hours a day, just at our place.”

Walker said Downes has been working with Joy to resolve some of the department’s recent computer issues. Downes will get a pay increase along with the added responsibilities.

In other news, County Treasurer Katherine Hudson reported that four finalists had been chosen for the fire marshal position. Interviews were conducted Friday.

Commissioners also approved:

  • the Sheriff’s Office using Everbridge for the alert notification system at an annual cost of $20,500; and
  • a proclamation declaring April 2013 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

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