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CA sheriff spends $761.24 at Costco to solve a $20,000,000 security problem

Here’s an upbeat (if rather bizarre) story from a California jail.  When faced with an inmate security problem in the jail, there was the $20,000,000, two year government solution, and then there was the $761.24, one week Costco solution.  Kudos to the sheriff for making the right call, and putting it on her own credit card!

But sadly, this story has a dark side.  The prison guard union president decried the sheriff’s purchase because “it hurts morale.”  Not clear why.  Never mind that the guards recently had beaten a mentally ill inmate to death under questionable circumstances and away from cameras.

Perhaps even worse, the county is STILL going to install the $20,000,000 “Cadillac” surveillance system!  After all, the money is already budgeted.  And what government bureaucrat would rethink this spending — perhaps putting in a comprehensive camera monitoring network for one-tenth the cost (a “paltry” $2 million dollars).


NOTE: I first saw this story in the free weekly blog “This Is True.” But for copyright reasons, I’ve changed the reference to the Mercury News story covering the incident.