UNION COUNTY — There is a continuing problem with the intercom at the Union County Jail and according to Sheriff David Taylor it’s spelled i-n-m-a-t-e-s.
In an address to Union County Council Tuesday evening, Taylor said the jail is required by state law to have an intercom system and the lack of a reliably functioning one was one of the things the jail was cited for during a state inspection in October of 2016. Taylor said the current system, which has been in place since the jail was built in 1996, is “beyond repair.” He said that the main problem with the system is that inmates have constantly vandalized it bringing it to its current state.
Taylor said he is looking into getting a new intercom system and that the one he is currently looking at is being touted by the company as being inmate proof. While the company is confident of the system’s ability to resist inmate attempts to sabotage it, Taylor had reservations about it being able to weather those efforts.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Taylor said.
Taylor also briefed council about his office’s continuing problem with “radio bleed” from Berkeley County which he said is interfering with communications between deputies in the field and dispatch.
Even though efforts have been made to solve the problem, Taylor said radio bleed is continuing. Taylor said the effort to solve the problem is complicated by the fact that Berkeley County’s system was put in place in 1991 and Union County’s in 1993. He said because Berkeley County’s system was in place first, Union County will have to change its system to deal with the problem.
Taylor said that it looks increasingly like the county will have to move to “800 frequency radios” to eliminate the problem of radio bleed from Berkeley County.
Taylor also informed council that the secretary in his office responsible for overseeing communications with NCIC and SLED had transferred to the Union County Clerk of Court’s Office. He said this left the position vacant and he asked council to authorize him to fill it.
On a motion from Councilman Ralph Tucker, seconded by Councilman Ben Ivey, council voted unanimously to approve Taylor’s request.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.