Big changes to the perimeter of the Norfolk Regional Center as state officials begin a multi-million dollar security upgrade.
A new perimeter fence, cameras, lighting and security gates are all part of the near $2 million project that was approved by the state legislature in 2017.
According to facility operating officer John Kroll, the idea is to improve security for both patients and community.
“We believe the fence is going to help our patients have more freedom and opportunity to be outside,” said Kroll. “It will also make sure that we have a secure setting for our patients that will keep the community safe as well.”
Kroll added that the upgrade will provide more benefits for patients including additional space to recreate.
“Currently, they [the patients] are only allowed outside into a defined courtyard area that does not permit at a good state to play games like softball and frisbee.”
The Norfolk Regional Center provides mental health services for older adult men, as well as sex offender treatment for those that have been discharged from a correctional facility, and are judged to be at high risk to re-offend.
The future plan is to expand the mental health unit to provide some additional support to the Lincoln Regional Center.
“The reason for that is Lincoln Regional Center has a waiting list for some patients to get into treatment, and if we can transfer some patients here to provide relief for Lincoln, that will help with the patient flow,” Kroll concluded.
The project is expected to be complete in September.