BACK-UP SYSTEMS KICK IN; POWER FAILURE HAS NO EFFECT ON DETENTION CENTER

BACK-UP SYSTEMS KICK IN; POWER FAILURE HAS NO EFFECT ON DETENTION CENTER

A bird caught in power lines near the Doña Ana County Detention Center caused a power outage Thursday morning, Oct. 28, 1999, at about 8:30 a.m., but the detention center itself was not affected.

Capt. Joe Alvarez said the facility’s back-up generators came on immediately and provided full power to the facility while crews from El Paso Electric Company isolated the cause of the power failure and made repairs.

Alvarez said the outage occurred when a large, black bird spanned its wings across two power lines. El Paso Electric responded to the outage within 15 minutes, he said.

The back-up generator at the facility, Alvarez said, can supply full power for up to eight hours in the event of a power failure. Back-up fuel supplies also are available, he said, to refill the unit’s 500-gallon tank if power is needed for longer periods.

“This unexpected outage proves that the detention center is equipped to deal with power outages,” Alvarez said. “Security and operations at the facility were never compromised despite the lack of warning. What this shows us is that our preparation and staff training, coupled with our technological back-up systems, are more than sufficient to protect both staff and the inmate population in the event of an unexpected occurrence of this nature.”