Security Technology Executive

NOV-DEC 2017

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20 SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE • November/December 2017 • www. COVER STORY is not unfamiliar. They do installs and retrofits for correctional facilities, jails and courthouses around the country, having done more than 600 in the 13 years he has been with the group. Wydick says the biggest difference in working a commercial project versus a correctional facilities project is that on the commercial side you have downtime. " You can work at night – from 12 to five in the morning – and not have anyone to deal with on a commercial project. But a correctional facility is obvi- ously a 24/7 around the clock operation; they don't close. Our engineers are in there working around the inmates being escorted the majority of the time," says Wydick. "Doing this in an existing, working facility is difficult because the customer would like to keep the current systems up and running as long as possible to eliminate any downtime. And in a correctional facility, there is no allowance for downtime. That was another big piece of the project we had to navi- gate through. I think for the most part we were able to keep the existing system online until the actual switch over to the new system." Other differences the team faced working within the confines of an active correctional facility com- pared to commercial market sectors included, con- tractors having to inventory their tools at the begin- ning and end of each workday and contractors on this project were also trained to conduct themselves in accordance with the laws stipulated under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Movement within the facility was restricted. Especially when headcounts were taken or when tactical teams were responding to incidents. Special provisions had to be made during the cutover of At 468,000 SF and 1, 200 beds, the Sedgwick County ADF is the largest correctional facility in the state of Kansas. More than 25 years old, the original proprietary door control systems were failing and the obsolete security system was in serious need of an upgrade and required replacement. Photo Courtesy of Mead & Hunt critical perimeter security systems. These unique construction requirements, and others like them, required significant collaboration between the owner, design, contracting and manufacturing teams to be successful. Like 911 centers, jails are 24/7/365 high-security facilities that cannot be shut down during the con- struction period. All work must be performed within the confines of a working correctional facility while allowing operations to continue in a safe and secure manner. This requires a delicate balance of construc- tion phasing , watchful security escorts, and skilled contractors knowledgeable about the intricacies of working in a high- stress, high- security detention environment. Electronic system cutover is the critical and sensi- tive stage of the delivery when the old security sys- tem is brought off-line and the new security system became operational. Using a phased approach, non- critical systems such as lighting , utility, and water control were brought over first. Slowly incorporating, more system critical components like door control, duress alarm, and video surveillance systems. Mis- sion critical systems such as perimeter security were done on third shift when inmates were locked down and the facility was less vulnerable. The logistics involved in upgrading a security system in an existing jail can be daunting and over- whelming. With more than 30 years of detention- grade security experience, Mead & Hunt drew from lessons learned on past projects to assemble and coordinate a team that not only delivered a success- ful project but did so with minimal disruption to existing security or operations. "It is a special niche field. It's different from a com- mercial-grade security platform because it is PLC- based -- integrated security through a PLC platform, whereas a commercial-grade project integrate as well but it would be through a card access platform," says Jeff Pronschinske, security project leader for Mead & Hunt, who points out that it is more industrial-grade, which is characteristic of corrections-type projects. " When I do correctional-grade security, some of it bricks and mortar – brand new projects coming right out of the ground – and those projects are less complicated. But when you get involved with these retrofits where you have an existing facility in which the electronics are so incredibly outdated that it is a matter of going in trying to bring them into the 21 st century and the digital age. They are highly complex and complex projects that you just can't go in close the doors of the facility. They have to stay operation- al, so you have to be extremely creative while you implement new technologies within the confines of a working correctional facility."

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