The Starke County Council has tasked Sheriff Bill Dulin with crafting a budget for courthouse security. Renovations currently underway include restricting access to the building and adding a metal detector to ensure the safety of employees and patrons.
Dulin told the Starke County Council last week he envisions having one guard at the building entrance during business hours and a second one upstairs in the courtroom as needed when court is in session. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has budgeted $18,000 for security, and Dulin hopes to match that amount. He adds all security guards would work part-time, with hours to be determined. The sheriff’s share of the money will come from the jail CEDIT fund.
Council members pointed out that expense could be slashed if circuit court proceedings took place in the courtroom at the Starke County Justice Center.
They also agreed the county is taking a risk by not providing adequate security for courthouse employees. Once the renovations are complete, the health department, prosecutor and clerk of the courts will all have offices in the three-story building.