Secure measures: Extra security to be taken after courthouse opens

Moving forward with improved security as part of Auglaize County Courthouse renovations, the Auglaize County commissioners have purchased equipment necessary for those updates.

This week the commissioners approved the purchase of a scanner and magnatometer to place at the single entry point to the courthouse once renovations are complete.

“It wasn’t part of our original bid package but it’s always been budgeted as part of the project,” Commissioner Doug Spencer said of the purchase. “We’ve always known we needed this and it’s always been budgeted for. We want to make sure the courthouse is as safe and secure of a courthouse as we can get.”

An auto clear model scanner is being purchased from Control Screening for approximately $20,343, the best quote received from several companies, while the Garrett walk-thru magnetometer is being purchased from Event Metal Detectors X-ray machines at a cost of $3,850, also the best bid of several quotes received.

The scanner would be used on items people are carrying or bringing into the courthouse and all employees and visitors to the courthouse would be required to pass through the magnetometer after entering the building on the lower level east side off Willipie Street.

Every person will be checked.

Spencer compared the new equipment to machines used for airport security.

“Unfortunately, in Auglaize County we need this,” Spencer said. “We hope nothing ever occurs, but it could. This is to prevent any kind of negative harmful situation from occurring. We need to have the resources available to ensure that no one gets inside with weapons.”

Spencer said they were pleased with the bids they received on the equipment and extensive research was done to find what would work best for the needs of the county.

The equipment to be used by the courthouse deputy at the new single point of entry to the building, is part of visible courthouse security efforts, but not the only new security measures being taken.

County officials declined to talk about other security measures being implemented.

“We want everyone to be safe while they are here,” Sheriff Al Solomon said.

Prior to the renovation, the sheriff said portable units would be brought in for certain high profile cases but that was no longer enough.

“Unfortunately, the way things seem to be now this is an important part of keeping our security,” Solomon said. “It’s just part of the security measures being put into place.”

Decisions about what security measures were most important and should be implemented have been discussed by members of a security committee throughout  the renovation process.

“We looked into different equipment and this is what we felt best met our needs and the size and needs of the county,” Solomon said.