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County to test security measures at Henrietta jail

Ray County Courthouse employees could soon be leaving a mark on the latest security technology – a thumbprint, to be exact.
Within the year, the Ray County Jail in Henrietta will test an estimated $3,735 thumbprint-scan security system that could be coming to the Ray County Courthouse. The system comes from Exeqtime Systems of North Kansas City and is being considered now because the Henrietta jail’s locks are “not cost effective,” the Ray County Commissioners said.
Commissioner Allen Dale boils the issue down to comparing the $1,000 to maintain the push-button lock system on the main door and several hundred dollars to fix other outdated locks to installing a new state-of-the-art system that also keeps payroll records.
“We just thought this was the better use of the money,” Dale said. “We can upgrade, make this one more secure, and tie payroll right into it.”
The Commission said the jail makes a sound test case not just because of locks needed replacing or repairs but also because employees on rotating shifts constantly traffic in and out. By comparison, the Commission predicted the system would secure personnel entrances in and out of the courthouse’s courtroom with one door open for public traffic in and out, said Presiding Commissioner Jeff Adams.
Adams said the system isn’t guaranteed to come to the courthouse.
“It may cost way too much for us to do it here,” Adams said. “We don’t have a number for this up here yet.”
Commissioner Mike Twyman, like Adams and Dale, sees the system as a means of looking forward toward better all-around security. Ray County Sheriff Sam Clemens agreed with the Commission’s outlook and added that the system addresses some extra tasks to maintain the jail’s security.
“Our security is good,” Clemens said. “The only problem is we have to change codes on the doors frequently to keep it that way . . . It’s hard to cut off somebody’s thumb and get somebody in.”

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