The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

August 16, 2012

Safety measures hiked at Clinton County buildings

CLINTON — Clinton county officials are taking steps to ensure the safety of citizens and employees at Clinton County buildings.

Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln and Clinton County Justice Commission Coordinator Brian McKenrick discussed security provisions for county buildings at a Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday.

“This is for the safety of people that use facilities as much as it is about protecting our employees,” McKenrick said.

The justice commission, which consists of major players in the local criminal justice system, has been working steadily on adding security to the County Administration Building and the courthouse since the Board of Supervisors made a recommendation to do so at the end of December.

The group brought in Phil Pittman of Homeland Security to look at the buildings and give recommendations on county maintenance and security.

A tour of courthouses and county facilities in surrounding counties also provided ideas to the commission. County officials looked at courthouses in Whiteside County, Ill., Rock Island County, Ill., and Scott County.

While the full plan for both buildings are still in the works, nor will full details be released for safety purposes, the courthouse has already undergone some visible changes. Currently crews are working on installing a metal detector and conveyor belt at the courthouse entrance in an effort to keep the courtroom free of weapons and other safety threats.

“It’s important that judges, witnesses and others involved feel protected,” Lincoln said. “Unfortunately the world has changed trials at the courthouse.”

The Administrative Building and courthouse are part of discussions in the year-long process.

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