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Maryland to replace Central Booking's fire alarm system, which 'failed regularly' at state-run jail in Baltimore

The fire alarm system at Baltimore’s Central Booking and Intake Center is “failing regularly,” causing dangerous conditions, and state officials are moving to replace it.

Under an “emergency” contract, Maryland’s Board of Public Works is set Wednesday to consider awarding $63,000 to Koffel Associates Inc. of Columbia for engineering and architecture work on a new system.

“The 23-year-old fire alarm system at the Baltimore City Booking and Intake Center failed regularly …. and was inadequate to protect the facility, the workers, and the 954 detainees,” the board’s agenda states. “Repeated efforts were made to repair the system with results that did not last.”

In October, the board awarded a $1.2 million contract to Star Electric Co. Inc. of Odenton to provide and install the new system.

According to board documents, an “emergency” contract was deemed necessary in July.

Central Booking is the state-run jail where detainees are typically brought after being arrested by Baltimore police.

The three-member Board of Public Works, which oversees significant state expenditures, is composed of Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, and Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, both Democrats.

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