Security Cameras Help Correctional Officers Prevent Possible Attack

Security Cameras Help Correctional Officers Prevent Possible Attack

Last week, new cameras put in the San Joaquin County Jail might have prevented the death of someone.

Correctional officers last week noticed that a metal door plate was missing from a door inside the facility and started looking for where it might have gone, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.

The door itself was not covered by a security camera, but officers were able to review video from a camera close by and saw an inmate attempting to hide what might have been the missing door plate beneath a sink in a common area close to where the plate disappeared.

Before it could have been used as a weapon to attack a fellow prisoner or even a correctional officer, officers were able to recover the piece of metal, which was 8 inches by 3 inches and had a piece of a sock wrapped around it to make a handle.

The agency credited the camera system, whose upgrade has been ongoing since last September and will eventually cover the facility with more than 200 cameras, with giving correctional staff the resources they needed to eliminate the threat before someone was injured or possibly killed.

“Had this metal plate remained inside the Unit, we have no doubt it would have been used to assault either another inmate or a Correctional Officer,” the agency wrote in the release announcing the incident. “It would have been much harder to find this improvised weapon before it was too late if not for our new camera system and the tenacity of the Correctional Officers in the Unit.

“We take the safety and security of our inmates very seriously, and this new camera system will only help us be better at releasing people back into society, hopefully in a better condition than when they first arrived.”

While the new cameras will improve security for both law enforcement personnel and the facility’s inmates, they will also bring a new level of accountability and transparency, hopefully averting incidents like the one that occurred in 2019 when a Stockton man claimed he was assaulted by jail staff.

The agency released video from the scene of the incident, but the actual cell was not shown and the majority of the struggle was not documented, leading to wildly divergent accounts of what happened.

Less than a month after that incident made headlines in the local media, Pat Withrow, the San Joaquin County Sheriff, who had been in charge for about a year at that point, made an announcement about the agency putting cameras in the jail’s cells.

Read More: Can Security Cameras See Inside Cars?

Source: mantecabulletin

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