Quorum court plans to modernize Miller County jail lockdown system


TEXARKANA, Ark. – Improvements to the digital central control lockout system for the prison, as well as the COVID-19 risk premium for employees, will be two topics discussed at the Miller County Quorum Court monthly meeting at 6 p.m. today.

The justices of the peace, who will meet in the boardroom on the second floor of Texarkana Arkansas city hall, will seek to fund $ 188,000 in improvements to the detention center’s control lockdown system, as well as the necessary new software.

In a joint meeting between the County Quorum Court Budget and Finance Committee and the Prisons Committee late last month, Miller County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Mark Lewis said a turnkey replacement of the 20-year-old prison analogue system with a central digital control system. – with monitored entry and exit points – will help make better use of prison staff.

Lewis said funds for the digital upgrade could be drawn from the $ 1.4 million the county received earlier this year in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds.

As for the risk premium for the coronavirus, four of the county court offices and at least three county government offices are asking for the fixed amount of $ 3,000 per employee. This would equate to at least $ 81,000 for collective judicial offices and $ 51,000 for government offices.

Claimant court offices would include: Circuit Court Office ($ 21,000), Circuit Court Clerk’s Office ($ 21,000), District Attorney’s Office ($ 24,000) and Miller County Juvenile Court ($ 15,000).

Applicant government offices would include: the Collector’s Office ($ 15,000), the Tax Assessor’s Office ($ 21,000) and the County Clerk’s Office ($ 15,000).

Miller County Tax Collector Laura Bates said even though the courthouse was closed to the public for several weeks during the period of March and April 2020, she said her staff would still go to the outside to meet with residents looking to pay taxes and ask questions.

Miller County tax assessor Nancy Herron said her staff would also go outside to meet with residents who were driving to the courthouse and calling from their cars, asking about their property assessments and other documents.

Miller County Election Clerk Tonya Bohn said during the 2020 election primary, staff met voters who came and waited outside the courthouse to receive ballots by correspondence.

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