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New computer installed at jail, doors, intercom in working order

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

During a Thursday, March 26, meeting, Bandera County Commissioners unanimously approved a budget line item transfer for the county jail - and how! As was explained, the $5,005 would be used to replace a computer at the facility so "doors would no longer have to be manually operated."
According to Bandera County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Matt King, the problem was first identified on Friday, March 6. At that time, a computer that controlled the fire alarm, electric door access and the intercom system ceased functioning. "It gave no warning. It just stopped working," King explained.
"At that time, according to the control officer who monitors the computer, the doors stopped working and the inmates could no longer talk through the intercom," he said. "Also the sally port could not be used to admit prisoners."
After the problem was noted, it took computer technicians about three hours to arrive to determine the extent of the problem. However, a fix was not so easy, King noted. "They basically said we needed to purchase a new computer, attributing the current problem to our computer being 'fried.' I believe that was the technical term that was used," he added.
The system had been originally installed in 2009 and had been in constant use - 24-7 - since that time. Computer service was reinstated on Wednesday, March 11, when a new system went into service.
King emphasized that no problems surfaced while the computer was down. "Actually we had a better handle on what was going on because jailers checked the inmates every 15 minutes due to the intercom system not working," he said. "No one went anywhere unless accompanied by a jailer with a key."
And, King added, no prisoners were reported "running amok" through the county's incarceration facility. "No everything was nice and quiet. We just needed to replace our 'fried' computer."