Commissioners consider additional security measures

Published 5:08 pm Thursday, December 11, 2014

County commissioners discussed beefing up courthouse security.

Vice Chairman Merrill Sport (District 3) made the suggestion.

“I think we need to take it more seriously,” he said.

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Sport was concerned that metal detectors were not used at all times because the security guard only works part-time.

“Security is not a part-time job,” he said.

The position is covered by a grant from the South Central Alabama Development Commission’s Area Agency on Aging. Sport asked County Administrator David Smyth to see how the amount of the grant is determined and what the county could do to double it.

Chairman Charles Sankey, Jr. said the commission should consider additional sources for security.

“We need to figure out if we want to do it through a security company,” he said. “Every department head has raised that issue. The judges have raised that issue. It’s time. You’ve got to make sure that the firearms don’t get in the building.”

Smyth brought up another safety concern.

“The side door’s wide open and it stays open all day long. If someone wants to gain access and they know you’re scanning up front, they may go around,” he said.

After a short discussion on the costs of adding a keyless entry system similar to the one installed on the back door, commissioners agreed the most expedient plan of action was to keep the door locked.

In other news, commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Sheriff’s Deputy Lee Simmons as impounding officer. Commissioners also cancelled the Dec. 22 meeting due its close proximity to Christmas. The commission will meet again Jan. 12 at 9 a.m.