Preston County receives grant to update courthouse security

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Courthouse and other county buildings are getting a security upgrade.

The county commission received a $91,000 Homeland Security grant, which it will match with $20,000 to replace 10-year-old equipment.

“This is all security-driven,” County Administrator Kathy Mace said Wednesday, when the commission met.

She reported four vendors, all from West Virginia — three from Morgantown and one from Wheeling — attended the mandatory pre-bid meeting. Bids are due by Jan. 28, and the commission plans to act on them Feb. 4.

Biff Armstrong, the county’s network specialist, said county employees will receive new ID cards with computer chips that will unlock buildings. Currently, employees have key fobs and separate IDs.

This access control will be at the courthouse, annex, Office of Emergency Management (OEM)/911 and sheriff’s department. About 150 people use the access control devices.

The grant will also allow the county to replace about 90 security cameras, both inside and outside of the courthouse, annex, OEM/911, sheriff’s department and animal shelter.

“We’re going to do some remote programming of the cameras,” Armstrong said. That would allow some people to see the camera feeds on cell phones. But the primary viewing sites will be in the sheriff’s department and at the security desk in the courthouse.

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