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Richland County Council approves vaccine incentive pilot program, new security equipment at county jail

Richland County's vaccine incentive pilot program will kick off on October 30. They will also invest $3 million into new security equipment at the county jail.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County Council on Tuesday passed a vaccine incentive pilot program that will take place on October 30. Through this program, the first 250 people in line to get vaccinated at The Meeting Place Church will receive a 100 dollar gift card. 

Some council members challenged this program. 

“This is not fair to those who have already gone ahead and gotten their vaccination," said Bill Malinowski. "They don’t have an opportunity to try and go ahead and get this $100 gift card." 

USC medical students will administer the vaccines, and the funds will come from the American Rescue Plan. Other council members were supportive and even proposed to plan ahead for its anticipated success.

“From the White House’s reviews, the incentives, these incentives do work. I would like to amend to include a follow up initiative," said Yvonne McBride.

The council also voted in support of enhanced security equipment at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. The enhancement would include a $3 million dollar request for new full body scanners, secured employee parking, and security cameras. 

This request comes two weeks after 12 inmates were charged in a jail riot.

RELATED: 12 inmates charged in jail riot at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

The initial proposal included tasers as well, but many councilmembers were opposed to that suggestion.

“Generally speaking, I support this. I wanna do whatever we can do to promote safety both for staff and for detainees. But, I did have concerns about this," said Chakisse Newton.

McBride also expressed concerns about potential danger.

“They can cause serious harm in the hands of someone who is not well trained and detention workers aren’t usually well trained in law enforcement activities, she said.

RELATED: Inmates charged with assaulting two corrections officers at Alvin S. Glenn jail

The new equipment will also be funded by the American Rescue Plan.

The council also voted on an $8 million dollar Lower Richland development plan that would expand parts of Garners Ferry Rd. This would include the widening of the existing road between Garners Ferry and the Sheriff's substation to five lanes, and adding a roundabout at Rabbit Run.

They say the design will take at least a year to finalize. 

RELATED: Possible 846 housing unit development in Lower Richland to be discussed at Richland County Council meeting

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