Located in Kingman, Arizona, the recently completed Mohave County Superior Courthouse is a $20M building with four stories, seven courtrooms, four jury rooms, two conference rooms, and over 100 employees. A long-awaited addition to the county’s judicial system, the new building’s AV setup provided a unique set of opportunities – and challenges –for the court’s IT Team, from the initial design process through to ongoing maintenance and planning for future expansion.
For the past 18 years, Kyle Rimel has worked as the IT Director for the Mohave County Superior Court. In September 2020, he was awarded the G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) for his role in quickly and effectively transitioning jury selection to a remote process at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of relying on an outside vendor to install and maintain the AV system for the new courthouse, Kyle and his team – most of whom are Kramer-certified – were tasked with creating a custom solution from the ground up. He explains, “The original cost to complete the building was just too expensive, so they started cutting costs. Two years ago, when we kicked off the building design, our presiding judge asked me specifically, ‘Can you implement the AV yourself?’ I was confident I could take on that level of work, and because of that decision, we were able to pull the trigger and move forward.”
Logistics were also an important consideration. Spanning both sides of the Grand Canyon, Mohave is the fifth-largest county in the United States. This makes even intra-county travel a difficult process – let alone travel from larger cities such as Flagstaff or Phoenix. And so for Kyle and his team, being able to troubleshoot and make on-the-fly changes to the courthouse’s AV interface without outside support was critical.
“We don’t have any AV companies within a hundred miles, and if we have something fail, we can’t afford to wait four hours for somebody to drive from Phoenix,” says Kyle. “We need that courtroom up and running, so we needed to build a system that we could maintain internally.” This is where Kramer stood out from its competitors.
Kyle noted that he and his team were able to purchase Kramer products directly from CDW Corporation – providing necessary autonomy and helping cut costs on the installation.
“Right away Kramer’s interface was much easier for us to follow, maintain, and implement,” Kyle explains. “We looked at other Kramer products and found that they offered most of the solutions we were looking for, so we selected them for our new building. I was able to add hardware, add individual images, build my touch panels, and get a working system within a matter of a couple of days.”
Kyle and his team installed Kramer’s VP-444 for video switching, the VM-218DT for monitor distribution, TP-580R to receive the video signal on each of the eight monitors, the PT-571, and PT-572+ to extend the inputs from the attorneys’ tables and lectern for all other inputs (such as Blu-ray players and document cameras). All equipment runs over a CAT6 cabling infrastructure and is controlled by a Kramer SL-240C with two integrated Kramer touch panels.