GALESBURG — Some of the last bits of touch-up work were finished Tuesday at the Knox County Law Enforcement Center.
The entire building at 152 S. Kellogg St. underwent a new internal communications system upgrade that updated the original system that came with the structure in 2004. The task mostly affected the jail side of the building.
This job — about $140,000 out of the Knox County Public Safety Tax — is the first improvement upon the system that has allowed easier control for the person working the control room.
Jail Administrator Louis Glossip said some fine-tuning was slated for Tuesday with a possible final walk-through with contractors at the end of this week. The county already has paid for 75 percent of the work, with the last bill to come after it is finished.
"The main bulk of the work took a week, which was a week less than we anticipated. We limited any extra programs (during that time) to alleviate the stress on the facility and the staff," Glossip said. That meant the weekly visiting night was canceled for two weeks last month while work occurred.
"The system we had was the original system that had been put in place in 2004 and, for some people, that doesn't seem like it was that long ago," Glossip said. "But when you think about it being run by a computer system, I don't know many people who still have the same computer today that they had 15 years ago.
"We're in the age where we get a new cellphone every year or two with the leaps in technology," Glossip said. "Electronic computerized systems begin to fail after eight to 10 to 12 years, so 15 years, I think we were at the end of its life expectancy."
Some cameras that would not work with the new system have been replaced, but the new cameras also provide new angles. That led to more monitors being put in the control room, but that also means the control room corrections officer can see more of the jail at a given time.
The new system also allows for one picture on the screen to be on the main terminal while a second picture rotates between showing who is at an intercom buzzing for service or a different part of the jail.
"If an inmate has an issue, medical or another type, they can alert a staff member more quickly than waiting for them to do their rounds," Glossip said.
Some of the new cameras also mean while one angle is focused on, the other three angles are also being recorded and stored. For Glossip, that is a "much needed improvement."
But it remains to be seen what will happen with other work needed at the county law enforcement center in Galesburg.
The roof has been an issue that keeps needing repair work. Knox County Sheriff Dave Clague has previously talked about the need to replace the entire roof, as warranties for the building have now expired since it opened in 2004.
Clague said in November 2018 he was told the life of a flat roof is about 14 years.
"Well, we're past that earmark, so it's going to have to be replaced, and a ballpark minimum figure we're looking at is $500,000, and, honestly, I'm not sure where we're going to get the money," he said then.
But more work could come between the current update and the roof.
"We are always looking at tweaking things here to improve security and safety," Glossip said, "whether that is camera upgrades or improved equipment or facility upgrades as a whole."