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Pennsylvania Jail Replacing Current Cameras with Digital System

The new camera system is in response to a corrections officer’s death

Crawford County,Pa., commissioners approved spending $281,952 for the purchase of a new digital camera system for theCrawfordCountyjail fromPittsburghintegrator Intertech Security, which—in addition to the camera system—will provide the jail with enhanced post-warranty service on a 24-hour per day basis for three years.
The commissioners voted 2-1 to purchase the digital camera system partly because of an incident in October 2010 in which a corrections officer died as the result of injuries inflicted by an inmate, according to published reports.

On Oct. 13, 2010, Crawford County Corrections Officer Gary Chapin, 49, was fatally injured at the jail by then-inmate Gregory Brown, who is now serving a two and one-half to five-year sentence following his 2011 conviction of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Chapin’s death.

The Crawford County District Attorney’s Office argued that Brown threw Chapin violently to the floor while Chapin was trying to handcuff Brown resulting in the injuries to the officer. However, Brown’s defense lawyers argued that Brown and Chapin tangled their legs as Chapin was attempting to handcuff Brown, and that the incident was an accident. Nonetheless, Chapin never regained consciousness following the incident and died of his injuries Nov. 15, 2010.

The differing accounts of Chapin’s death have led the county’s risk assessment consultants to recommend the jail’s video system be upgraded. The current camera system has 19 cameras, while the new system will have 64 cameras and that includes replacing all the current cameras.