$64K Video System Watches Over Citizens in 3 Alabama Courthouses


The St. Clair County courthouse recently received a security facelift consisting of 32 cameras in the Pell City courthouse, 10 in the Ashville courthouse, and nine in the Ashville courthouse annex, or 51 cameras altogether. The new video surveillance system cost taxpayers approximately $64,000 to install.

The St. Clair County video system, installed by CMI Electronics of Montgomery, consists of dome cameras equipped with video motion detection that features pre- and post-alarm image retention. For years judges and county officials have called for better security precautions at the St. Clair County courthouses. The courthouse shootings in Fulton County, Ga., last March intensified attention on the issue.

At the present time county officials is uncertain as to how the new video system will be monitored. Because the relatively high cost associated with hiring additional security personnel, it is not know whether the video system will be monitored at all.

Harold Hoyle, county property manager, plans to install a 42-inch monitor on the wall in the Pell City courthouse security room. This monitor will enable security personnel to display larger objects. Hoyle wants the new video system to be as visible as possible because its greatest value is as a deterrent. The new system is linked with a panic button system installed in courtrooms and county offices.

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