The Lincoln County Quorum Court on Monday approved the purchase of a new booking system for the county jail.
At the request of Sheriff Larry McGee, the court approved an ordinance appropriating $24,000 from the Jail Renovation Fund to buy the new system.
McGee said the jail needs the new system because the old system is “obsolete. The company has already pulled the telephones out of the jail. That was part of the program of the jail booking system. If it goes down tomorrow, they won’t repair it. They’re done with Star City (and) Lincoln County because we’re too small.”
McGee said the federal and state governments dominate the way the booking systems must work. McGee said he could only find two companies that would service a jail as small as Lincoln County’s, Re=Lativity services most of Arkansas and does not care how small a department may be. The sheriff also said that his criminal report system is already contracted through Re=Lativity and it would be good to have the jail booking and criminal report systems under the same company to avoid potential gaps in information that could lead to a person getting arrested twice under the same warrant (which he said has happened). McGee added that Re=Lativity said they could update the report system, while all other companies say it is too obsolete to be updated.
“I don’t think there is a better system out there as far as liability and what we’re looking at,” McGee said.
Justice Lee Spikes asked if there was another fund that could pay for the new system, because sooner or later the county will have to build a new jail with Jail Renovation Funds.
Justice Drew Steed said other funds are also short.
In another matter, the court appointed LaTroya Jones to the County Board of Equalization.