Fence, other security upgrades in works for Washington Co. Justice Center

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- Wednesday morning, chairman of the Washington County Commission, Greg Matherly, drove us to the back of the George P. Jaynes Justice Center in Jonesborough.

Matherly drove us along the perimeter where they hope to soon install a fence that would stretch from the detention center all the way to the back of the justice center.

“It’s for the security of everyone… of course, this fence does wrap around and cover the whole rear end of the detention center and the workhouse,” Matherly said.

There is already a small area that is fenced in, but soon the entire back lot will be too, with gate access.

“The gates will be operated by a card, each employee of the courthouse and detention center already has a card that will be able to open…as we’ve seen in Greene County here about their about their fence installation, making sure that everyone is covered by a fence, if we needed to address an issue like that…you know you are always trying to keep things out of the detention center,” Matherly said.

Greene County recently installed a fence around the back of their own workhouse, improving security after inmates escaped from that facility earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in Washington County, Matherly said he hopes to see their fencing project complete by early next year.

The fence would add to other security measures, like the bollards that were installed in order to prevent vehicles from running straight through the front doors.

Matherly said there’s still more to be done.

“Security is always changing, the security needs of the justice center…what we need to be doing is looking ahead and to prevent escapes, prevent people from bringing things into the detention center, and the same way with the justice center,” Matherly said.

Greg Matherly also said in the next few months they will be looking at bids to replace the security operating system for the entire justice center.

It is a project that he estimated would cost around $90,000.Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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