The Pulaski County Council is taking the first steps toward enhancing courthouse security. One of the main recommendations from the county security committee is establishing a single point of entry and setting up a full-body scanner to check everyone who enters for weapons.
Sheriff Jeff Richwine offered Monday night to pay for the scanner from his budget. He notes the model the committee recommends plugs in and bolts to the floor and can be moved easily should the need arise. Tentative plans call for it to be placed at the lone accessible courthouse entrance, which is the west side basement door.
Adding a scanner will also require some additional staff to check patrons and monitor the entrance. Richwine suggested using jail employees, who would work the courthouse as part of a rotation. Doing so would require a couple of additional hires, at an estimated cost of $80,000 to the county.
Councilman Mike Tiede suggested hiring a private security firm instead of using county employees, noting it may be cheaper. The committee agreed to look into the cost and provide a comparison before a final decision is made.
Other proposed upgrades include the installation of additional silent alarms in courthouse offices and possibly adding security cameras at the entrances.