Pontotoc Co. Sheriff proposes new security system for courthouse

By: Ashley Park Email
By: Ashley Park Email

ADA, OK -- If you've been inside the Pontotoc County Courthouse you know it's fairly easy to get in and out.

As of right now, anyone can enter through any door in the courthouse...but that may soon change.

"We'll close down all the entrances, as far as entering the building, and they'll be moved to the south side of the court house," said Pontotoc County Sheriff, John Christian. "We'll have a metal detector, walk through metal detector there set up for the public and the employees to go through."

Sheriff Christian says this is just one of the security measures he has proposed to County Commissioners.

He's also recommended an emergency alert system to be placed in more of the offices at the courthouse.

Currently the only offices that have the panic button are the judges' offices and courtrooms

"We have problems many times in the hallways of the courthouse, and this would allow that any of the offices that fronts on the hallway if there is a problem to be able to hit that button and alert officers to come and they'll be able to come and address that situation," said Christian.

Christian says the new system could cost anywhere from $10-12,000 and would be paid for by the county's general fund that is held in reserve for renovations to county buildings.

One resident says it's well worth the cost in order to help keep people out of harm's way.

"Any type of security that might help prevent someone from getting injured or hurt is well worth the effort of other people that may have to contribute to that," said resident, John Haile."So you know do anything to protect the public servants."

Christian says the current system is not up to standard with many other courthouses in the state, and the issue needs to be addressed.

"I am not willing to allow someone to get hurt because we haven't been diligent in securing the court house for everyone's safety," Christian said.

Christian says the commissioners have not signed the resolution yet.

He says if it does pass, he hopes to have the system in sometime after the new year.

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