New safety changes in place following correction officer's death

New safety changes in place following correction officer's death
MONROE, Wash. -- The murder of Washington State Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl is sparking more change in the prison system.

Immediately after Biendl's death, Gov. Chris Gregoire called for a full review of prison safety. Thursday, the Department of Corrections showed off some of those changes first-hand, from arming officers with pepper spray to radio upgrades, to better screening of inmates - like Byron Scherf, who's charged with killing officer Biendl inside the prison chapel in January.

Fellow officers found Biendl's body down on a stage, but investigators say an hour passed before they realized she was missing.

Superintendent Scott Frakes says now he wants to know where his officers are at all times.

"We've talked about that issue for many years," he said. "Struggled for years to get increased accountability, but have never put the time, the energy, and resources it takes to make that a priority."

Other changes include testing a card employees will swipe when they enter and leave, a new body alarm, and a review of prison camera systems. The DOC says they got a lot of those ideas from officers themselves.

"The communication, the training that we're getting now, the drills, the exercises," Frakes rattled off.

Inmates say at times, the changes seem strict, but they understand why they're in place -- for an officer lost in the line of duty, and to make sure it never happens again.