JASPER, Tenn. - The outdated video surveillance system at the Marion County Justice Center is going to get a much-needed digital recording upgrade.
Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said most of the building's 55 security cameras are "not working at this time" and the entire system needs to be overhauled.
Burnett said he received three bids for the work, and last week he recommended the County Commission approve the highest bid, saying it will save money in the long run.
The lowest bid was $43,000, but Burnett urged county leaders to accept the $55,500 bid from Turner Security, Fire & Video LLC in Chattanooga because "he's been [to the building] three times, and he's showed a lot of interest."
The board voted unanimously last week to authorize the bid from Turner Security.
All three companies had a two-year warranty on the new equipment, but Burnett said the other bidders charged up to $90 per hour for service calls.
Turner Security would not charge the county for repair work, he said.
"[Turner] stated since they were close, they could just send somebody by," Burnett said. "I believe them waiving that hourly rate, if we do have trouble, would save us some money."
Commission Chairman Les Price said the money for the surveillance system is in the budget and will not be an issue for the next fiscal year's proposed budget, which has yet to be approved.
"We've got money to cover this now," County Mayor John Graham said.
The new system will cover the justice center's entire first and second floor, Burnett said.
"We'll have cameras put in the courtrooms and hallways because if we do have trouble, somebody can see it," he said.
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.