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Corrections Agency Moves to Enhance Emergency Preparedness Posture

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

(Washington, DC) Today, DC Department of Corrections Director, Odie Washington, is announcing the phased-in installation of equipment, which will enable the agency to better carry out its role in the District's overall Emergency Response Plan.  These enhancements will also significantly improve overall security and safety for staff and inmates.

The enhancements are designed to permit the agency to respond more efficiently during actual emergencies.  The new equipment will improve procedures pertaining to managing large influxes of detainees during mass arrest, increase the overall security profile of the facility by reducing the likelihood of contraband and weapons introduction, and enhancing security to the facility's perimeter during large scale demonstrations.

"We are an integral part of the District's emergency response efforts when it comes to maintaining order during mass disturbances," said DC Department of Corrections Director Odie Washington.  "This agency must be ready to carry out our critical functions regardless of what may be adversely impacting us.  These steps will ensure our ability to provide advanced protection of the facility, internally, and externally, while carrying out our mission during a stage of city-wide crisis," Director Washington concluded.  The department will be using sophisticated technology, in addition to proven traditional methods to carry out its mission.

Enhancements include:

  • State-of-the-art digital fingerprinting equipment - enabling correctional officers to expeditiously process large volume of records during mass arrest,
  • An electronic drug detention device capable of expediting mass searches inside and outside, reducing the likelihood of illegal drugs being introduced or stored on facility grounds,
  • Non-intrusive search equipment that permits detection of concealed contraband in body or oral cavities,
  • Additional walk-through metal detectors,
  • Real-time external and internal digital surveillance video equipment; and
  • Re-instituting the agency's use of K-9 search and drug detention dogs to secure our external perimeter and buildings located strategically throughout the correctional complex.

All programs are scheduled to be phased-in at the Central Detention Facility over this fiscal year.

For more information, contact the DC Department of Corrections, Office of Communications at (202) 671-2135.