Black Hawk County Jail safer after escape one year ago - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Black Hawk County Jail safer after escape one year ago

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There is now heightened security and more technology throughout Black Hawk County Jail.

Friday marks the one year anniversary of the escape from the jail that happened July 12, 2012. Inmate Jeremy Mask essentially walked through an opened emergency door to escape; a door that Sheriff Tony Thompson said shouldn't have been open at that time.

Thompson said the incident was a combination of human error and technical error. Over the past year, law enforcement at the jail has made safety improvements to the building.

Locks have been changed and the intercom system is now expanded. Electronic key pads were installed at more doors throughout the jail to advance security. Different kinds of cameras are now in place as well as an updated computer system with stricter access.

A complete physical security assessment was done on the entire facility to find problem areas.

"Where are our most obvious break downs, where are our most vulnerable points. And we have since addressed those vulnerabilities both with technology as well as with procedure," Thompson said.

He also said the procedures that were in place in the area where the escape occurred were reviewed and rewritten. More supervisors looked into overall procedures and implemented more education and training for staff.

"Implementation of technology, whether it's key pads at additional doors, again that's a total facility threat assessment. So, what doors will remain locked, what kind of procedures does it take to unlock a specific door," Thompson said.

Law enforcement with the jail reviews a third of the Policy and Procedure Manual every year. So, every three years, the entire manual is reviewed.


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