Sheriff said he assumed microphones to be part of new jail’s camera system

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin, left, and Southeast Kansas Regional Correctional Center Jail Administrator Major Bobby Reed talk to commissioners about their expectation that cameras in the new jail would include audio capabilities. Also pictured is SEKCC Captain Alvin Metcalf Jr.
Tammy Helm

Another week has passed and Bourbon County Commissioners still don’t know how much it will cost to install a microphone system in the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center.

On Tuesday, they heard from Sheriff Bill Martin who said he wanted to clarify information commissioners had provided during their Nov. 28 meeting.

At that time, commissioners said during a Nov. 14 jail progress meeting, they learned they would receive a change order to add a microphone system throughout most of the jail. When asked on Nov. 28 who was requesting the additional system, the three commissioners simultaneously responded, “the sheriff.”

With the jail nearly complete, adding the microphone system means ceilings will have to be removed to add conduit to run the wires for the system. Painting and other finishing work is on hold until commissioners decide whether to add the system.

On Tuesday, Martin and Southeast Kansas Correctional Center Jail Administrator Major Bobby Reed said they realized the audio recording system was not part of the project when training was held in the new facility. Martin said they “assumed” it would be part of the camera system.

“When you go to any retail store to buy a camera that is a recording device, you expect that camera or recording device to have both video and audio, correct?” Martin said. “Is that a fair statement?”

Commission Chairman Lynne Oharah said the system he has at his residence had the option for both capabilities.

Martin said if a person buys a camcorder, they expect it to have audio and video.