CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTGS) — The Chatham County Sheriff's Office is getting a new system to keep track of their inmates.
It’s a mobile system that will keep track of their location and interactions with officers. It'll also monitor them if they're on behavior watches.
Sheriff John Wilcher said the new tracking system will keep officers on the same page and make sure inmates are where they’re supposed to be.
"This jail is like a city within a city. 750,000 square feet of living space in this jail," said Wilcher. "1,812 people in the jail today and you have to manage those people."
It’s a mobile command system that’s completely digital.
With a quick scan of either a bracelet or an I.D. badge, officers will be able to do cell checks, headcounts, and mark inmate locations if they’re out of their cell.
As of now, the officers have to wait until they’re back at their desk to log information about an inmate.
"You got to manually log it in the log and if you’re an officer and you do that and something happens and you get distracted then it’s not listed in the logbook," said Wilcher.
With the new tracking system, they will be able to do it right on the spot with a device that looks a lot like a cell phone. It is called a spartan, and with it, officers can take pictures, videos and write descriptions about what inmates are doing and how they're acting.
It will keep track of all those interactions and records in their digital log and that will be used when the inmates go to court.
"We’re working towards making this a better place for the inmates and a better place for the officers," said Wilcher.
Sheriff Wilcher said this will help keep an eye on inmates on suicide watch and make sure all officers know about it.
"Especially people on suicide watch, that’s one of the biggest things," said Wilcher. "We’ve got 18 padded cells in this jail and we have a lot of people that are on psychotropic drugs and everything else so it’s a big deal."
He expects the system to be up and running by February.
The system will be paid for by the county. The Chatham County commissioners approved the $224,336 funding for the system, plus an additional $102,000 for annual maintenance.