Adams County Sheriff Shane Rekeweg
Both Adams County courts, along with the jail, are looking to upgrade the audio/visual equipment used during hearings to better accommodate the courts, deputies, and inmates.
Carrie Freeman of superior court met with Adams County Council this week to request $22,137, to be taken out of adult user probation fees and cover the cost of upgrading the courtroom system and providing an additional feed to the jail.
Currently, the jail only has one audio/visual feed, meaning only one courtroom may use the equipment at one time.
Adams County Sheriff Shane Rekeweg noted that at one time deputies transferred each inmate to court for hearings. With inmates in the courtroom, deputies are required to stay to supervise the inmate, which means a deputy was not able to fulfill regular duties.
"If a deputy is tied up in court all day, they can't respond to calls or serve papers," said Rekeweg. "Right now I would say we're down to transporting inmates about 20 percent of the time, so we're saving a lot of time, gas mileage, wear and tear on the vehicles."
Rekeweg also noted that the jail already has a room that can be used as an additional courtroom feed so there would be no additional expense in that aspect.
Included with the audio/visual equipment was a request to replace the microphones currently used in the courthouses with lapel microphones for attorneys and defendants to use.
Freeman said that the current microphones are directional and do not easily pick up everything that is said during proceedings, forcing court reporters to replay a recording several times in order to transcribe the record.
Council approved the request 7-0.