County approves new inmate tracking system, looks for new project manager, adds safety measure to McGuire Industrial Park

E.B. Thompson

elizabeth.thompson@sapulpatimes.com 

On Monday the Creek County Board of Commissioners signed a contract with Guardian RFID for the jail’s new Inmate Tracking System. Assistant District Attorney Andrew Goforth pointed out that another bidder, Guard1, although lower in cost, has less training and their equipment that would not be feasible for daily operations. Additionally, they did not tour the facility. District 2 Commissioner Leon Warner discussed the specifications of the project and said that those, along with the reasoning submitted by Guardian, is why they were awarded the bid. The amount of the bid was $42,798.75.

Goforth stated that he reviewed the contract with Guardian and said there were two points he felt it was important to highlight. He said first, there is an indemnification clause, and secondly, there is a confidentiality clause. This clause states that the County must give the company and its legal team a 15-day notice before providing any information on an Open Records Request. 

As previously reported, this system involves a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID). The RFID system is a safety measure that will greatly reduce human error at the jail. Each inmate will be issued a number when they are booked and given a wristband with the number encoded. The wristbands will be scanned by officers during headcounts, when issuing commissary items, when certain commissary items (such as razors) are turned it, when issuing and turning in food trays, when inmates leave the facility to go to court, and anytime inmates leave their pod, among other situations.  

Another benefit is that the RFID will allow officers to stay distanced from inmates while performing headcounts, which is a valuable safety precaution in the COVID-19 era.  

Not only will the jail be able to track inmates’ whereabouts and movements in real time, they will also be able analyze which inmates gather together in certain places or who was in the vicinity when a fight breaks out. This can help officers mitigate, or even prevent, disturbances. This system has been used with much success at other jails in the area, including Tulsa County’s. 

The bid from Guardian RFID was unanimously approved by the board. 

Creek County Project Coordinator Paul Farris is retiring after nearly 30 years of service. The Board unanimously approved the process to accept job descriptions for the Project Manager position and to start taking applications for it. They will also be adding “maintenance” to the job summary. All applications are due by 5 p.m. on December 15, 2020. Dana Logsdon is the point of contact and can be contacted at 918-227-6307. The application will be available at  www.creekcountyonline.com. 

There will now be marked “No Parking” and “No Unloading or Unloading” zones in the McGuire Industrial Park on South 86th West Avenue, South 87th West Avenue, and South 78th Street West. Warner said he has received multiple complaints of companies using the public road there to load and unload cargo and that it is creating a safety issue. He said that the streets are not wide enough for this activity because of the semi-truck traffic and that it is beginning to tear up the roads. He said he hopes “that placing these signs will help cut this down, otherwise, we may need assistance from the Sheriff to enforce the zones.” This was unanimously approved. 

The County’s Emergency Resolution handling the pandemic was extended another week. Goforth stated that the Modified Temporary Order from Judge Golden has been extended until January 8. Some hearings are being handled by telephone and some virtually; the public should contact the office with which they have business before going to the Courthouse in-person. Employees are continuing to answer phones and process paperwork via fax and email and there are drop boxes placed outside the judges’ offices that are checked daily. 

Stephens argued that the Courthouse can only be shut down by the Commissioners—the Judges have no authority to close the Courthouse. “It is a public building and should be open to the public,” he said. The Board stressed that no one should be turned away from the Courthouse to conduct business. Warner countered that the resolution should stay in place, which states that the building is to remain open. The motion passed with Stephens voting no. 

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E. B. Thompson

E. B. Thompson

Elizabeth Thompson is the News Editor for Sapulpa Times.