Commissioners discuss courthouse security

The courthouse tragedy in Berrien County earlier this week drew the bulk of attention during Wednesday’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners’ executive committee meeting.
The situation garnered more than a half hour of discussion, which concluded with Undersheriff Mark Lillywhite and Sheriff Brad Balk indicating their plan to seek additional funds from commissioners to better secure the county courthouse.
Commissioner Allen Balog said he, too, also has given considerable thought to whether such an incident would happen in the Centreville building.
Consequently, a rough plan was proposed wherein four part-time corrections officers would be made full-time employees and provide a greater security presence at the courthouse.
Then, stronger security methods through technology would be included in the new courts building and its courtrooms when the addition is constructed.
Commissioners agreed to put the issue on the county commission agenda for further discussion at its meeting Tuesday. Meanwhile, Lillywhite and Balk plan to assemble a checklist of measures they feel will be needed as part of an overall security enhancement for the short-term and long-term.

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