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Young County Sheriff’s Office creating safe child exchange zone

The Young County Sheriff’s Office will soon have an officially designated safe exchange zone. The zone will provide a safe area for all parties involved in the exchange of custody of children. Young County Sheriff Travis Babcock advised the Young County Commissioners Court of his plans during Monday’s meeting.

The project officially started late last year and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. The project includes three parking spaces specifically marked with two signs for the exchange zone, cameras and a microphone system wired into the cameras. This will allow for audio and video surveillance of the exchanges. The cost of the microphone installation is expected to be $1,958.66. The sheriff said the cost for the signs would be around $100.

“We’re going to designate three lanes (...) it’ll be the north side of the jailhouse on the front part of the parking lot,” Babcock said.  “We’re going to designate those (parking spots) for the safety part of it where they come in and exchange the kids and everything. We’ll have that speaker mounted to where it’ll pick up everything that’s audio so that price includes the speaker (and) the wiring going into our camera system, so that it’ll all work together. We’re going to use the existing cameras that are only on the building itself.”

Interference from the wind blowing was a consideration made when selecting a location for the designated area. There will be little to no wind distortion and the microphone/camera system will pick up the entire exchange area. Although there has not previously been an area dedicated to exchanges, the Sheriff said the parking lot is frequently used.

For the rest of the story, see the Jan. 12 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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