COUNTY LAUNCHES NEW OPEN EYE DIGITAL RECORDING CAMERAS AT JAIL
(Woodbury, NJ) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Frank J. DiMarco, liaison to the Department of Correctional Services, announced today that the new Open Eye High Definition Digital Recording system is now operational at the county jail on Hunter Street in Woodbury. The Freeholders held a demonstration of the new cameras at the facility today and were joined by members of the Jail Advisory Board.
"This technology has already proved greatly beneficial in the few days it has been installed," said Freeholder Director Sweeney. "The Corrections Director, Officers and staff are able to view the facility and inmate activity, investigate any events and or claims by inmates and basically keep a recorded time log of activities that occur within the facility. The Freeholders are extremely pleased that this technology is now in place," said the Freeholder Director.
The installation of the cameras and technology began at the start of the year by the county's Data Management staff. The county purchased the 71 cameras and technology, and had a vendor install the Open Eye cameras in the jail. The county Data Management team installed the computers and other technology and trained the staff, saving the county approximately $50,000 for the project. The cost of the system was $250,000.
Freeholder Frank DiMarco said, "This is another tool that the county will utilize to ensure the safety of both the inmates and officers at our facility." DiMarco said, "These cameras continually monitor the holding cells, suicide watch cell, pass through, elevators, day room, courtroom, and open pod. They record by digital motion detection and we will store all of the recordings on DVD."
The county's Juvenile Detention Center has already had 15 cameras installed and that project was completed over the past summer. The Women's facility is next in line to have cameras and recording technology installed and should be completed by the end of June.
"The Jail Advisory Board has been extremely supportive of this project and the Freeholders are grateful to them for the time and dedication they put into improving communications and conditions at the jail," said Freeholder Director Sweeney.
Freeholder DiMarco said, "The County's jail has undergone some major changes in the past three years. There have been many improvements, there have been some setbacks too, but the improvements are really beginning to show. I credit the Jail Advisory Board for their tenacity in seeing to these improvements and our new Director who has really set a new tone at the facility."
The funding for the cameras has been incremental since 2003 when the county took over the operations of the jail. The funding has come from the capital budget, the funding for the cameras of the Juvenile Detention Center were from a grant.