Hancock County supervisors discussing ways to make courthouse more secure

Possible options include bullet resistant glass and service windows

Posted: Sep 11, 2018 8:46 PM

GARNER, Iowa - The Hancock County Board of Supervisors is discussing ways to make the county courhouse safer and more secure for both the public and employees.

At last Tuesday's supervisors meeting, County Attorney Blake Norman discussed the addition of bullet-resistant glass, a service window and a secured door system to his office.

The week before, County Communications Director Andy Buffington, who is also in charge of Zoning and E911 for the county, presented his security recommendations to the board.

Buffington is also part of the safety committee, and says a recent all-department active shooter drill highlighted some gaps when it came to security. He adds that the changes should be done in a way to keep the building operational.

"One of the things that really came to light was people have access right into that office from counter top height. One of the things is we want to be sensitive too, so that folks that do come in for normal business at the courthouse are still able to conduct that business and it's not imposing to them," Buffington said. "We're open records. There's really not a whole lot that we have here that people don't have the right to be able to examine. But at the same time, we don't want just unfettered access in. It could be for somebody who wants to do violence, but that would be a very low as far as probability or possibility."

Buffington adds that there is no set timeline yet for the modifications, as it is dependent on the Board's decision and if funding is available. He adds that some exterior doors were recently equipped with electronic locking systems, with interior doors to be modified as well that are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

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