The Grayson County Juvenile Detention Center will soon get a facility-wide, $140,000 upgrade of video surveillance equipment.


On Tuesday, Grayson County Commissioners unanimously approved a motion allowing the detention center to enter into a purchase and installation agreement with Knight Security Systems. The improvements will be focused on the facility’s existing network of 132 video cameras and will take the form of upgraded digital servers and memory storage, and new fiber-optic lines, as well as user and device licenses.


“We’ve run into some electrical issues,” Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Lisa Tomlinson said. “We found that the buildings weren’t properly grounded, so we took care of that. But the ultimate reason is that our servers are old.”


The detention center, which is located near North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field in Denison, opened in 1985 and currently boasts a 78-bed capacity among two residential facilities. The center accepts juveniles from Grayson, Fannin and Cooke counties. Children are generally enrolled in the detention center program as a result of criminal behavior or court orders and participate in educational classes, as well as various activities, including recreation, anger management and arts and crafts. According to the county’s online profile of the detention center, “residents are visually monitored 24 hours a day for their safety and the safety of the community.”


“They’re something we can use if an incident occurs,” Tomlinson said of the cameras. “We can go back and look at video to see what actually happened. So it’s a protection for both the children and the staff.”


A published project overview, compiled by Knight Security Systems, indicated that approximately $64,000 of the total cost would go toward digital licenses and software, while the remaining $76,000 would secure the purchase of servers and hardware. The overview also listed a recurring, annual cost to the county of just under $45,000. Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said the six-figure upgrade approved Tuesday would be funded with money already allocated to the facility.


“There is no impact to the general fund through this purchase,” Magers said. “It’s just (using) funds from the detention center.”


Tomlinson said the upgrade process is expected to begin in early February and would likely be completed within several weeks.