Detention center officials confident of security, safety - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Detention center officials confident of security, safety

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Officials at the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Facility say the building is wired with cameras and audio equipment to curtail inappropriate behavior. Officials at the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Facility say the building is wired with cameras and audio equipment to curtail inappropriate behavior.
Eddie faces charges of sexual abuse, child pornography, and sodomy at a church where he is children's pastor. Eddie faces charges of sexual abuse, child pornography, and sodomy at a church where he is children's pastor.
TUSCUMBIA, AL (WAFF) -

Officials at the juvenile detention facility where a children's pastor accused of sexual abuse previously worked say the man never faced any allegations during his employment with them.

Jeff Eddie is currently in custody on more than 30 counts of child porn, sexual abuse of a child, and sodomy. Before working at Highland Park Baptist Church, Eddie worked at the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Facility.

No reports of abuse were ever filed at the facility. Current administrator Tobey Robertson said because of the safety measures put in place and because his facility is covered with cameras and recorders, there is no chance anyone would ever be able to prey on those in custody.

The Tuscumbia facility houses a maximum of 25 teenagers and has enough safety measures in place to make it an unlikely zone for sexual predators.

"It's designed so that, especially here for the children," they know no one is going to ask you for sexual favors, no one is going to do anything to you," said Robertson.

From the moment the kids are brought to the facility, they are under 24-hour surveillance. "There's an average of three cameras in any room. It also has audio that feeds through a recorder so we can pull that audio up at any point. Those cameras are designed to pick up anything that's going on, whether it's day or night, 24 hours a day. There is no place in this building where they go where there is not a camera," Robertson said.

After their arrival, the kids immediately learn about the Prison Rape Elimination Act and sign paperwork showing they understand the no-tolerance policy.

"This is where they live. We are not here to torture them; we're not here to make it hard on them. We're here to keep them safe and secure until the courts can do what they're going to do," said Robertson.

The security measures, he said, help the staff as well as the kids. "Just about everyone who works here is a mother or father. We treat those kids the way we want to be treated, the way we'd want our children treated. It's important that we protect them at all costs, both safety and security. Not just from the staff; we protect them from themselves, other residents," Robertson said.

The training process for staff goes well beyond the typical background check. Robertson said they go through a 40-hour orientation process before coming near a child. A Central Command office also provides an extra layer of security. Officers inside this room provide additional coverage to the entire facility.

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