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New doors to make JJA safer
Key card system expandable to other departments
new_deh_county commission JJA pic.jpg
New electronic doors will improve safety at the 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services office.

In order to improve security at the 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services office, the Barton County Commission Monday morning approved the purchase and installation of electric door locks and access controlling software for the department.

The department office has two doors that currently employ mechanical keypad door locks, Juvenile Services Director Marissa Woodmansee said. For security reasons, it is routinely necessary to change the codes as employees leave and new ones are hired, which is very costly. 

The county Information Technology Department researched alternatives and proposes replacing the mechanical keypad locks with electronic door locks which can be remotely programmed and controlled in the IT office, Woodmansee said.

The cost for the system from Nex-Tech for the two doors is $5,005. It consists of electronic pads on each door that control the locks and are activated when tapped by the a key card, said Dereck Hollingshead, the county’s network administrator who helped with the project.

From the IT office, the cards can be instantaneously activated and deactivated as needed, Hollingshead said. Access can also be monitored and controlled, and replacement cards are relatively inexpensive.

Should this prove successful, he said it could easily be expanded to other county offices. It could also provide the potential to lock down offices as well.

Woodmansee said funds reimbursed to JJA from the state will cover the cost and she won’t have to tap her grant money for it. The county also pitched in a portion eying the expansion possibility.

The 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services serves a five-county area consisting of Barton, Stafford, Ellsworth, Rice and Russell counties. However, Barton is the host county for the district so the budgets must be approved by its County Commission. Barton County also provides office space for the agency.

Juvenile Services is the host agency for six separate programs available to all youth and families in the Judicial District. Those programs consist of Juvenile Intake and Assessment (JIAS), Juvenile Intensive Supervision Probation (JISP), Community Case Management (CCMA), Teen Court, Project STAY (School Truancy Alternative for Youth) and Journey to Change.

It offers programs that are attended on a voluntary basis and those that are court ordered that involve informal supervision to adjudication.

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Tuesday morning:

• Approved the purchase of electronic locks for the Juvenile Services Department.

• Appointed Brian Bitter to the Fire District No. 2 Board of Trustees. In May, the Commission adopted a Resolution creating Fire District No. 2. Per the Resolution, a board of trustees provides oversight for this district. The board consists of not more than one appointed person from each participating township and not more than one from each participating city. Bitter is taking the one remaining uncompensated position, representing Union Township, that expires Dec. 31, 2020. 

Bitter’s appointment brings the board to a full eight members.

Fire District Number Two consists of Albion, Eureka, North Homestead, South Homestead and Union townships, and the cities of Hoisington, Olmitz and Susank.

• Held a 10-minute executive session to discuss matters of attorney-client privilege. No action was taken.