Clay County Workers Request Security Officers

By Katie Hargitt

Published 07/11 2014 02:20PM

Updated 07/11 2014 06:09PM

Five entrances and three floors of the Clay County courthouse go unprotected every day.

"We've had fights break out on the third floor which is outside one of the courtrooms. We've had an individual in the prosecutor's office with a gun," said Sheriff Mike Heaton.

The building is already outfitted with security cameras and panic buttons that ring through to dispatch, but workers say now, that's not enough.

"We have had instances where we felt that the interaction with the member of the public was beyond what we could handle and we have called for law enforcement to come help," said Clay County Prosecutor, Lee Reberger.

The county already owns a X-ray scanner. Sheriff Mike Heaton says his plan would add six deputies to the security force. Heaton says the additions would cost about a quarter of a million dollars each year.

"Not that we have to have that but here's the high end of it knowing it can come down but again we're not going to skimp on the security of the public," Sheriff Heaton said.
Workers in the prosecutor's office have called on the Sheriff's Department before and they're not willing to risk future security scares.

"What will the future bring? We don't know. What circumstances might come up? We can't predict," Reberger said.

A security plan needs to be approved by the county commissioners and county council. It could be added to the courthouse as soon as next year.

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