TYLER, Texas — For years there has been a guard shortage at Smith County Jail, so in an efforts to resolve the problem, the jail is implementing a new system called 'Guard One'. It will help save time when checking on inmates well-being.
"We ran a test with it for about three weeks with employees doing the Guard One system along with our current system doing manual documentation on paper," Smith County Jail Lt. Darrell Coslin said.
The state requires inmates to be checked on every hour, but at the Smith County Jail, are checked every forty minutes.
"As we're short-staffed and working with a minimum crew, anything we can do to reduce the amount of work they have to do, it makes it easier for them to perform," Coslin said.
With the new system, if an inmate is standing, sleeping or talking, guards can press a button providing that information which then gets downloaded onto the jail's server.
"It takes less time to do the observation this way because I'm not stopping and having to physically write out or fill out a form of what I'm doing," Coslin said. "I can just hit the button, do my observation hit the next button and move on to the next cell or tank."
Currently, if a check is missed due to a fight or any other disturbance in the jail, it could be months until the missing check is noticed. With 'Guard One' the mistake will be noticed much quicker.
"I think it's going to be a great upgrade for the jail and help our staff with their workload and make their checks in a more timely manner," Coslin said.
The new system has been tested but is not up and running just yet. The system is expected to be active within the next few weeks.