Pulaski County Commissioners Continue Courthouse Security Discussion

Pulaski County Sheriff Jeff Richwine will be assisting county officials in getting more information in order to implement a security plan for the courthouse and Pulaski County Justice Center.

The plan needs to be done in order to be compliant with several state requirements in a court order with security for buildings that house courtrooms.

A single-point entry point is proposed on the west side of the courthouse with a basement entry as that is currently the only ADA accessible entry.  Commissioner Mike McClure suggested redoing the eastern entrance into the courthouse to make it ADA accessible so patrons can enter the courthouse on the main floor, but Councilwoman Kathi Thompson urged the commissioners not to pursue any extensive projects without first reviewing a final plan on what improvements or construction proposals are needed for the courthouse and the Pulaski County Justice Center. 

As for personnel, outside security agencies were contacted with a price of $18 an hour for part-time security.  Sheriff Richwine wasn’t in favor of hiring an outside company to do the security detail, especially when the commissioners made the decision that they will be armed.  The security officers should also have arrest powers.  He’d like to rotate jailers to cover the position, but more employees would need to be hired and trained as Richwine doesn’t have the staff available. 

As the details of security are being ironed out, Richwine will be doing more research into what is needed and the commissioners will be talking with the council members during their special meeting next week to work funding into the budget for security officers, security cameras for the courthouse and Justice Center, and a metal detector.  Some funding may be available with grants so that will also be considered in the planning.