The Scioto County Commissioners are taking steps to beef up the security at the courthouse because some officials and their families have received threats.
The commissioners have been discussing the idea of securing the courthouse and what they might look like.
Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners Bryan Davis said the commissioners are not only looking into implementing security in the courthouse, they are also addressing internal and cyber security issues.
“We are addressing courthouse security on many levels. What hasn’t been addressed and I will do so now, is that we have received multiple threats against government officials and even some family,” Davis said. “We take these threats very serious.”
He said, he along with Scioto County Commissioners Mike Crabtree and Cathy Coleman, have met with judges housed within the courthouse, to talk about security measures within the courthouse and concerns the judges had around the topic.
Davis said some the ideas or concerns that came from the meeting have already or are in the process of being addressed.
When asked about details, Davis declined comment, “some measures cannot be discussed for security reasons.”
In an article published in January by the Daily Times, Crabtree said implementing such a system might mean closing the seventh street entrance and requiring anyone needing access to the building to use the sixth street entrance.
“If we go to courthouse security, we’re going to have to do somethings a little different than what we’ve been doing,” Crabtree said.
When asked about cost, Crabtree said, “it’s not going to be cheap.”
Davis said the county is currently looking to the cost of upgrading their camera system and having armed guards on the first floor of the building.
He said the current thought is to not install metal detectors at entrances but to have two armed on the first floor.
“We are looking at every avenue to responsibly and affordably protect those who visit and work in the courthouse,” Davis said.
Davis said the county is also working on enhancing the emergency radio system and panic buttons within the courthouse.
In an effort to address security on all fronts, Davis said the commissioners are also taking steps to enhance the computer infrastructure and data.
Davis said last year the computers of two county employees were cyber attacked and were infected with ransomware.
According to microsoft.com, “Ransomware stops you from using your PC. It holds your PC or files for ‘ransom”.
Davis said once the computers were attacked, they were contacted and asked to pay to have the infected computers released. He said the county declined payment and was able to recover some contents but not all.
As a countermeasure, the commissioners are looking to invest around $20,000 to enhance the counties cyber security.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter