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County Commission Communications
A Periodic Column Written by Ed Douglas, Presiding Commissioner

June 2019

CT JUNE 4, 2019

Our Courthouse now has a full-time security officer, along with a new metal detector - something we have had since the first of the year. Previously, a security officer and the metal detector were used only on court days. Our reason for making these changes center around the direction society seems to be going in the number of criminal trespass and assaults over the past few years. In fact, it even happened in our own Livingston County courthouse a few years ago.

In making the decision to go to full-time security, our Commission met with the county's elected officials, our sheriff, our judges, and our Circuit Marshall, to brainstorm and come up with ideas on how to implement security measures in our courthouse. All agreed that changes were needed to protect both the staff and the public. Everyone involved in the discussions felt this security was necessary.

We also learned that we would be the fourth courthouse in our circuit to make this decision. This was not an issue that our County Commission took lightly. And after gathering all the information provided and considering all our options, we decided that the safety of our employees and visitors was most important.

The north door facing Webster Street is now the only door used to enter and exit the building. The other doors are emergency exits only and secured with alarms. This single entrance and exit will enable our security officer to adequately control and monitor who is in the courthouse, insuring that everyone goes through the metal detector. Having to monitor and screen all four doors is no longer practical or safe for one person to control. The north door is being used as the entrance because it is our "handicap" entrance. It has a handicap door and will have two handicap entrance ramps - one exists from the east parking lot, and the west ramp is currently under construction. It should be noted that on days when court is in session, people going to court will not be allowed to take their cell phones into the courtroom. Therefore, people going to court must either leave their phones in their cars or in the lockers that we have installed in the north entrance to the building. Those individuals not going to either court room may bring their cell phones into the courthouse.

Our County Commission is very much aware that restricting access to only one door is an inconvenience, and we wish that this was not necessary. Unfortunately, today's world is different from our world of many years ago, and these precautions are necessary to help protect people's lives. Thank you for understanding the situation and for your cooperation.

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