Woodbury County Jail finishes phase one of renovation - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Woodbury County Jail finishes phase one of renovation

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV)- The Woodbury County Jail is an older facility, one that Sheriff Dave Drew says was in bad need of renovation.

"We have to make sure by state standards that we're up to code, because many things have changed since the time this facility was built in 1987," Sheriff Dave Drew, Woodbury County said.

As of now, phase one of the renovation is complete.  It fixes problems with basic safety measures within the jail, according to Sheriff Drew.

"We were having some issues with the doors, because after 27 years, some of them, the hinges weren't working. And if the doors don't close properly, then we have other issues," Sheriff Drew said.

The $1.2 million renovation paid for video monitoring systems, new cameras for the facility, and new security doors that don't have to be manually checked.

An additional SCAAP grant paid for what the Sheriff calls 'taser cams,' cameras worn by everyone on duty starting in March. 
The cameras record officer activities as they arrest people out in the field. They cost the jail about 44 thousand dollars, but Sheriff Drew said they'll save a lot more than that in court costs in the long run.

"This piece of equipment will go with you. For example, when you're in a car, when you're going up to approach a car and you're going to search that person. Everything you're doing is moving with your head, and if you have that smaller piece, it's identifying where that officer is looking. It's a tremendous tool and it's going to help law enforcement immensely," Sheriff Drew said.

Sheriff Drew says those cameras and the cameras inside the facility are important not only for an officer safeguard, but for the safety of inmates as well.

"We want to make sure that there are no off-sight areas. We want to make sure that if there's some kind of infraction, it's being recorded so that we can deal with it," Sheriff Drew said.

He says dealing with it is all part of the job, and he's glad for the additions to the jail that make that job just a little easier. 
Sheriff Drew says phase two of the renovation will include additions to help the jail house inmates with disabilities, an area he says they're lacking in right now.

Decisions about funding for that project will come from the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors. 
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