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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Howard County to develop new courthouse security plan"

This article today by Derek Jensen in the Kokomo Perspective has a lot of info new to me. Some quotes:

Howard County officials soon will undertake a project that may significantly change how citizens interact with the county courthouse.

Prompted by a rule passed by the Indiana Supreme Court last September, the county’s five judges will work with the sheriff and other officials to develop a new security plan for the facility.

In a release issued last week, the officials explained that the plan was mandated by an amendment to Indiana Administrative Rule 19, which took effect on Jan. 1. The rule now states that courthouses will develop a security plan, giving due consideration to a set of minimum security standards established in 2002. The details of the plan will not be made public.

However, the new plan may necessitate some physical changes that will be noticeable by those who visit the courthouse. Some of the minimum standards -- those which have been required since 2002 -- already have been adopted, such as the presence of uniformed law enforcement personnel and a prohibition on all weapons. Public access to private work areas also is controlled.

Other standards are optional for the courthouse unless new construction or renovation is planned. Those include the installation of bullet-resistant barriers in high-risk areas, grounds and parking security, pedestrian circulation systems, a public address system, emergency alarms and lighting, and the creation of a courthouse information desk.

Two other standards are only required in the event of a new construction project. Those include a secure sallyport area for the transportation of prisoners and the creation of at least one secure holding cell for prisoners in close proximity to the courtrooms. * * *

The details of this plan will remain confidential, and the members of the committee contacted by the Perspective declined to comment on the process.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 11, 2014 12:21 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts