FALLS CITY – The Richardson County Board’s posting of a deputy and metal detector at the courthouse entrance drew criticism Tuesday.
Taking Back Our Community packed the commissioners’ room, where Bob Witt said law enforcement could be better allocated under tight budget conditions.
Witt: “With all the crime we’ve got out and around, I’d rather see these guys out and around rather than sitting around.”
He said since the county board is able to find $60,000 to add another deputy, it would be better to assign that deputy as a school resource officer.
Gayle Swisegood, former county commissioner, spoke to the board independent of TBOC, but said he agrees that the county is better off with the deputy on patrol.
Swisegood: “I would suggest that we discontinue the security that we have. We’re inconveniencing the very people we are supposed to serve.”
He said people with hostile intent can still get into the building by sending someone in to open a door or by waiting for someone to come out.
He also noted that many attacks in public buildings are linked to disgruntled employees, but the courthouse security policy exempts employees from the checkpoint.
Commissioners handed out an informational pamphlet at the meeting that describes several instances of courthouse violence around the country.
The pamphlet says complacency is not the answer. It suggests weapons screenings at the entrance and presence of law enforcement.
It also suggests training to detect suspicious behavior and a protocol to report it.