VALPARAISO | The Porter County Juvenile Detention Center is about to get a security makeover.
The county commissioners approved a contract last week with Stanley Convergent Security Solutions for $289,995 to replace the entire security system at the center. Michael Jabo, of design firm DLZ, told the commissioners that a lot of the equipment now in use at the center isn't even manufactured any more.
Detention center Director Alison Cox said the current system was installed when the building was built in 1994 and is technologically outdated. It has several monitors and a large board with buttons for operating the doors, intercoms and locks instead of the touch screens now available.
The new system will reduce the three monitors in the control room to two touch screens, which, with the help of about 20 additional surveillance cameras, will allow the detention staff to switch the viewing angles at any time in and around the building.
Cox said the system will require the same number of people, but it will allow them to do the job more efficiently. The security floor in the control room, which contains all the wiring for the current system, will be replaced, and new countertops will be installed. The cameras also monitor the court rooms, the probation department and the perimeter of the building.
"This is part of the county's three-year plan developed when they went through and identified all the needs of the buildings," Cox said. "They worked with us on this and will get us up to date. We are extremely happy they approved it."
Jabo said he expects to have the final contract ready for the commissioners to approve at their next meeting. The work is expected to take about six months to complete.