Thefts mean hi-tech security for Jellico Electric and Water

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By Beth Braden

A month ago, thieves stole $15,000 worth of copper and brass from the Jellico Electric and Water service.
Before that, they cut grounding wires off some of the trucks.
Last week, they stole a chainsaw.
“If it’s not tied down, people are taking it,” said J.E.W.S. General Manager Billy Rowe.
Jellico Police Chief Chris Anderson agrees security is needed at the various utility department properties and that’s why the agency seeks to install a high-tech monitoring system.
‘That water plant in my opinion definitely needs an alarm system on it,” Anderson said.
A fence is currently the only deterrent, but has proven largely ineffective.
 “They could take a pair of bolt cutters down there,” Chief Anderson said.
Anderson took two entities — RadioShack and ICU Security — on tours of the properties that need surveillance and place bids to secure the premises.
“I told them to come and look at everything and I didn’t need to know what they charge, to seal it up in envelopes and bring it down here and give it to you,” Anderson said.
RadioShack bid approximately $5,850, while ICU’s estimates totaled nearly $7,237.
Rowe said he ultimately preferred the pricier ICU package because it offers a higher-quality camera and better monitors for the value.  
“They had a cheaper price, really,” he said.
The systems could be installed pending final approval, sometime after April 9.