Where it comes to maintaining security and safety for those behind bars along with associated staff and visitors, one integration company in particular is raising the bar.
Stanley Security’s expertise in securing prisons and jails – and its portfolio of more than 800 successful projects completed in the correctional facilities space – uniquely positioned the integrator to take on the challenges of installing and integrating comprehensive modern security systems within a new inmate housing facility in Laurel County, Ky. The firm also provides ongoing maintenance for in excess of 200 such clients.
“Most security vendors are trying to keep people out of a building. Our corrections vertical sees us trying to keep people inside and also prevent unauthorized people/items from entering the building. It makes for a unique situation and design of the security electronics system,” says Stanley Security Sales Engineer Matt Hildebrand, who has 16 years’ experience serving the corrections market.
After working solely from a 250-bed building for the past 28 years, Laurel County decided to build a new 110,000-square-foot correctional facility with 664-bed capacity to house the bulk of its inmate population. The previous jail’s smaller size had led to overcrowding issues.
When the new facility opened in January 2020, jail administrators wanted to have state-of-the-art security solutions installed and ready to monitor and protect hundreds of inmates, staff and visitors. The ultimate goal was to install and integrate video surveillance and other systems into a common platform to streamline jail operations.
“The project consisted of integrating many different systems into one seamless control point,” adds Hildebrand. “What made this project unique was getting all the different systems working together into one integrated solution. Total system integration proved crucial in maintaining a healthy and safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Stanley Security worked with the owner, architect and security consultant to deliver a high-tech solution that includes a central control station able to control/monitor all doors throughout the facility, answer any intercom station, communicate through all paging speakers, view and monitor any camera in the facility, respond to duress alarms, and turn on/off any utility such as water valves, inmate phones, TVs and lights.
Let’s take a closer look at this project and why it was named the 2021 SSI Integrated Installation of the Year.
12 Months to Deploy $1.5M System
From the start, jail administrators knew they wanted state-of-the-art camera systems and control functions and a streamlined operation from top to bottom. By virtue of the company’s work throughout Kentucky, Stanley Security’s reputation stood out among the administrators’ options for their security needs.
“Stanley had reputable experience with the specific technology we were looking for and was efficient and accountable from the start. The process felt like a true partnership,” says Laurel County Jailer Jamie Mosley. Video surveillance systems were a crucial component of Mosley’s envisioned security suite, and Stanley Security had the specific systems he wanted.
As plans for construction developed, Stanley representatives worked closely with Mosley and his team, providing demos of the Geutebruck video systems he preferred as well as planning for integrations with other systems like access control and data logging. Following an RFP process, through which Stanley Security was selected, company representatives finalized planning details with Mosley and the architects charged with construction.
The security installation process itself required approximately 12 months from start to finish. In total, Stanley Security followed five phases to complete the project: investigation, inventory and design (200+ hours); software implementation, in-house testing and prototyping (200+ hours); onsite installation (600+ hours); commissioning (400+ hours); and owner training (16+ hours). The final cost to the customer was $1.496 million, including about $62,700 in additions from the original bid.
Due to the high-security aspect of a correctional facility, coordination with the end user was critical for a safe and successful outcome. Included were the following systems and solutions: touchscreen control stations; door control and monitoring systems; intercom systems; duress stations; access control systems; IP cameras; video monitoring stations; utility control systems; and data logging of all events. (See equipment list below for more specifics.)
Hundreds of Devices Integrated
Stanley Security brought the expertise required to ensure the new facility’s security systems were integrated and functioning correctly. The project aimed to install and integrate hundreds of components into a modern interface jail administrators could easily learn and use.
Since video was one of the most critical components of Laurel County’s system, Stanley installed and integrated more than 335 IP megapixel cameras to provide extensive coverage of the facility. Jail staff can access and view any part of the facility in real-time, as well as capture and record video footage to a data logging solution.
According to Hildebrand, the end user chose Geutebruck’s product suite due to familiarity with the system, its software and key features it offered.
“With this installation occurring in a corrections environment, the chosen products had to meet strict standards. For example, all cameras exposed to the offender population were required to carry an IK10 impact resistance rating to withstand potential assault. In addition, the cameras captured footage at 1080p resolution or higher to allow for the best visual quality in both live and recorded video, which must be retained for at least 60 days,” says Hildebrand.
Integration of other systems, including door control, intercom access and utilities, was done to prepare administrators for adverse situations or operation under duress. With one overarching system, guards could lock or unlock any door and communicate with other guards throughout the facility in case of emergency.
Challenges Taken in Stride
According to Hildebrand, the project’s most difficult aspect was turnover of the systems. Communicating with senior county officials to develop specific timelines was critical. These timelines were then shared with each facility’s ranking staff to provide enough time for each group to prepare for their systems to be upgraded.
Installing and integrating hundreds of security components during the construction phase of the project also posed unique challenges.
“A minor aspect to do differently may have been waiting to install equipment racks until after other trades completed their work,” reflects Hildebrand. “Some equipment had to be removed and cleaned thoroughly due to construction dust.”
Thanks to careful planning alongside jail administrators and building architects and clear communication between Stanley Security and Laurel County, however, the installation process was otherwise seamless and effective. Because Stanley had begun working with the administration and architects early in the facility planning process, the team understood what needed to be installed and the best approaches to do so during the installation phase.
“In addition to coordinating with corrections officers, we worked closely with the county’s IT staff, which was deeply involved in the selection process of the selected computer, server and network equipment,” states Hildebrand. “Stanley Security also had one subcontractor on this project to handle electrical needs. This entailed wire, cable, fiber, and installation and termination of the field devices.”
Live demonstrations of security components like IP cameras offered Mosley and his team greater insight into capabilities, which simplified installation and training processes afterward. All components were selected with user-friendliness in mind to ensure any facility staff member could respond to security incidents decisively.
Mosley says he valued keeping the full integration process “under one umbrella” to streamline installation and integration. Stanley Security’s ability to offer a unified process, from initial planning through installation and maintenance, was a key element of the successful relationship with administrators.
Pandemic Provides Proof of Concept
A standout integration at the Laurel County facility is the automation of controls on more than 230 facility doors. The demands on control operators had been overwhelming at the older facility, and administrators sought a more efficient way to manage the flow of inmates, staff and visitors.
Introducing automated access control solutions on doors throughout the facility – including on each dormitory door – significantly reduced demand on operators. Integrated data logging now also produces an access audit, applying identifiers unique to each staff member to ensure accountability. Jail administrators expressed they found the new technology simple to understand and have been using it in their daily duties.
When the COVID-19 pandemic surged in March 2020, only a few weeks after the facility opened, Laurel County administrators relied on these systems and training from Stanley Security to maintain safe and healthy environments for their inmates and staff. The ability to track movement throughout a facility, maintain social distancing efforts and properly train officers using real-world scenarios in one system became critical to ensuring inmate and staff safety.
“The project culminated as the pandemic started, which meant training users and completing the system before the owner shut down public access to the facility was key,” contends Hildebrand. “Staff could monitor large gatherings in inmate areas and enforce social distancing — required to keep all staff and inmates safe during the pandemic. By having one central control point, facility staff could move inmates and staff with less contact than a key-based or antiquated system would have allowed.”
Mosley’s team trained on and have used their systems’ more advanced features to help ensure inmates and staff remain safe. Video surveillance integrated with data logging has also offered his team opportunities to review past incidents for training purposes and adjust guard-inmate interaction as required.
No Buyer’s Remorse Here
Stanley Security applied its expertise in corrections security to developing, implementing and integrating each security system component within Laurel County’s facility. The company worked hand in hand with jail administrators through every milestone, from initial planning to construction.
“With this being a new construction project, it was critical that we found a security partner who could handle the full integration, incorporating the technology we wanted with the necessary expertise to keep the process efficient,” adds Mosley. “Oftentimes, when working with multiple providers, tensions arise as problems occur, creating a lack of responsibility and interrupted operations. With Stanley Security, we experienced the opposite. The team took accountability and pride in the project from the start and provided us with everything we needed.”
The customer received a one-year warranty after the initial installation, with the integrator having offered a service agreement to extend that. As technology advances and security threats evolve, Stanley Security intends to maintain an open dialogue with jail administrators to update systems, increase efficiencies, enhance its security program, and continue to protect inmates, staff, visitors and the surrounding community.
“Stanley Security was honored to partner with Laurel County to provide its security electronics systems. The facility will become a showcase facility for Stanley Security in Kentucky, where future potential customers can tour the facility and review the installed technology,” concludes Hildebrand.
Check out additional images of the installation in the slideshow above.
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