Concerned about safety of jail

But is it secure?:

Hi Red Phone! I just got through reading the article in the
Dispatch about the new police department being built. My question
is regarding the jail being built on site. How secure will this
actual jail be?
But is it secure?: “Hi Red Phone! I just got through reading the article in the Dispatch about the new police department being built. My question is regarding the jail being built on site. How secure will this actual jail be? Will nearby residents be well protected from potential breakouts? How long will inmates be kept at the Gilroy facility? I would appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks.”

The Red Phone touched base with Gilroy Police Department Capt. Scot Smithee and would like to point out that there is a jail facility at the current station. It has four cells, which aren’t designed to hold people on a long-term basis. The new station will have eight cells for adults and two for juveniles.

“From a security standpoint, it’s going to be significantly more secure from what we already have,” Smithee said.

A cell itself is pretty darn secure, he added. What will be more secure is getting prisoners into the building/jail itself. Right now, officers park at the back door – through a security gate at the parking lot – and walk the prisoner into the building, to the jail, which is down a hallway.

According to Smithee, in the new station, officers will drive through the doors of the parking garage, which is secured by a key card, then drive into a port area with another card-protected gate on it. The port will be able to hold two cars at a time. The port inside the garage is called a sally port and most police department’s have one – a secured garage that has two doors, one for entering and one for exiting, that close when the officer’s car is inside.

“Now you have a double layer of security before we even open the door of the patrol car,” Smithee said.

Prisoners will be taken directly into the jail. Although the new jail will be built to a higher standard and GPD could keep people there longer if they wanted, they’ll continue to keep the process they have now, of transferring people to the county’s main jail in San Jose.

“As a general rule, we try to have people here not longer than 12 hours,” Smithee said.

Bad blowers: “I read the Dispatch article on downtown development and support the idea of having a thriving downtown environment. However as a downtown resident, I find it unthinkable that they have blowers on the street very early in the morning, as in 6:15am this past Sunday. As a parent of a 5-year-old son they woke up, they are making it difficult for me to want to continue my residence in the area. Isn’t there a law regarding this noise pollution? Please help!”

Sorry, caller, but the Red Phone was told that city workers don’t start until 7am, so they’re likely not the culprits.

According to Police Sgt. Kurt Svardal, it could be a neighbor. If the problem persists, he suggests filing a noise complaint with the police department by calling 846-0350.

So stick around and takes Svardal’s advice should the noise occur again.

Leave the Gators alone: “Your staff writer, Ana, stated that that the Gilroy Gators started in 1970 and I want her to know that my husband, Bob Hagen, started the team in 1957. I think for a program to run for 47 years, especially since they have 200 swimmers, it must be a good thing. Don’t mess with it. Thank you.”

The Red Phone passed your message along to Dispatch sports reporter, Ana Patejdl. And for those who missed it, the article is ‘Gators wrestled from the water,’ which ran March 26. You can find it at www.gilroydispatch.com.

Readers: Know of a streetlight that sticks on red? Want to complain about bad driving? Or maybe offer up a compliment? The Red Phone is here to listen to your troubles and woes (but encourages happy thoughts) and do its best to find answers to your burning questions, so give it a call at 842-9070 or send e-mail to [email protected]

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