Thursday, February 25, 2010

Locks, Keys Wearing Out At Lock-up

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- The Socorro County Detention Center has a little bit of a problem. The locks on the cells work just fine but sometimes the keys don’t work to let the inmates out.
“We had one door to open with an inmate inside,” Detention Center Director Evangel Maldonado told the Socorro County Commission Tuesday night.
Maldonado said he had to call local locksmith Robert Serna, who has been in the business since 1972, to get the inmate out.
Serna explained that locks are good for 20 years but they have to be properly maintained over the course of time. The locks in the jail are about seven or eight years old, and some of the keys are getting worn down, Serna said.
Serna told the commission he would work up a proposal for him to get certified attending a training session in Houston that specializes in jail locks and keys.
“Right now if something happens, you are going to have to call somebody from Houston if there is a big problem with the locks and the keys and that would cost a lot of money,” Serna said.
“It might be to our benefit to have somebody work on this,” Commissioner Philip Anaya said.
The commission left it to county manager Delilah Walsh to work out the details on how to proceed.
“We might have to work out some kind of procurement process,” county attorney Adren Nance said.
Serna summed it up.
“If somebody gets locked in, you will need to get a torch to get them out,” he said.
In other business:
• The county recognized the retirement of longtime worker Pete Gonzales.
• Approved an Alamo Road Grading Contract.
• Approved a Memorandum of Understanding for the Emergency 911 Center.
• Approved the NCNMEDD Non-Metro Agency Amendment.
• Tabled a resolution on Delinquent Tax Sales.
• Approved Amendment No. 4 with Dennis Engineering
• Approved a Dept. of Finance and Administration Grant Agreement.
• During their re-organizational meeting in February, the Socorro County Land Use
• Land Use Commission (LUC) changed the board’s monthly meeting times to the third Wednesday of every month at 5:00 p.m. in the Socorro County Annex Building. The time change was made in order to accommodate the schedule of current board members and ensure a quorum each month.

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