Curry County Jail Gets Security Upgrade

The Curry County Detention Center is getting a security system makeover. Jail officials say this should help everyone in the Panhandle region breathe a sign of relief.

The newest security upgrades at the Curry County Detention Center started on Wednesday,  exactly seven months to the day after seven inmates escaped.

The first security cameras went up inside the jail on Wednesday afternoon. Jail Superintendent Lee Delk says the cameras will "Give us the opportunity to zoom in, pan around the pods, and effectively eliminate 99% of the blind spots in this facility."

Blind spots that allowed seven men to escape last august-dangerous criminals who then made their way to cities all across the Southwest.

All in all, there will be 66 new security cameras going up inside this jail. They'll cover everything from the central booking location-to every main hallway-to the rec area.

But there are a few places the cameras cannot cover. "Bathing areas, their bathroom facilities."

We asked Lois Bean, the Jail Administrator this question: How confident are you that these new cameras and new security training will stop something like this past summer's escape from happening again?

Her answer: "The community, as well as the inmates themselves, along with the staff here can feel more safe."

Both veteran and rookie jail employees alike will undergo intense security training over the next few weeks, and officials say that is the key to keeping us all out of harms way, because the cameras won't do their job if the people monitoring them can't do theirs.

Delk says, "A camera is not going to prevent an escape. It's not going to prevent a violent act, but it will give us the record capability and an opportunity to catch it as it happens."

The security system overhaul is expected to be finished by the end of April at the very latest. The total price tag for the project is just shy of $200,000, paid for by grants from the state of New Mexico.