The Leavenworth County Commission Thursday approved a bid for a project to improve the security of an area near the county jail that was the site of a walk-off in December.
Sheriff Andy Dedeke said the process of installing new fences around the back area of the jail began under his predecessor, Dave Zoellner, who left office in January when Dedeke was sworn in. The commission authorized the action after an inmate at the county jail, Raheem Armstead, walked off while disposing of trash in the Dumpster behind the Justice Center. While Armstead was being watched, the supervising deputy was not armed for security reasons. Dedeke said the fence was to be paid for in unspent funds from the sheriff’s jail budget.
Two of the three companies who Dedeke said he sent specifications to for the work did not respond. Best Fence of Platte County, Mo., did respond, with two different options.
“The two different options deal with how far he takes the fence,” said County Administrator Pat Hurley.
The first option would cost $35,975 and would allow the sheriff’s department to put fencing around the entire Second Street parking lot for the Justice Center. The second option would cost $28,475 and would fence half of that same parking lot.
“I believe this is the best option,” Dedeke said of the second.
Hurley said it might not be the last security improvement at that site following a Justice Center building committee meeting Wednesday night.
“It’s identified as two separate projects,” Dedeke said. “The jail project and a standalone project — a downrange, large-scale project.”
Commissioner Clyde Graeber, who also serves on the Justice Center building committee, said that larger project will not be hindered by the sheriff’s current plan. The commission approved the second option of the bid from Best Fence.