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Bingham Co. courthouse to increase security

Bingham Co. courthouse to increase security

BINGHAM COUNTY, Idaho - Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland said he will increase security measures at the courthouse in 2014.

"It's society, it's society making us try to have our employees feel safe at work," Rowland said.  

Rowland says it's important to have security at the courthouse.

"The general public that comes in to do business with the county I want them to feel safe also," he said.

Rowland said court employees have felt threatened during some incidents in the past.

"They've gone to court and the judge has given them a fine and they're mad about that so they take it out on the court clerks. We've had people that come in and thought they didn't deserve a citation, people that come in to pay their taxes," Rowland said.  

The sheriff said he is planning to hire two part-time and two full-time employees to run a metal detector and X-ray machine. The sheriff's office will purchase the items within its budget. "It is over $100,000 to hire and train the employees," Rowland said.

County Commissioner Chairman Ladd Carter said they've talked about increasing security for years.

"Personally, I've resisted for a long time," Carter said.

He said he worries about older people trying to get through the courthouse doors and those just trying to renew their driver's licenses.

"I would hate to lose the country courthouse feel, but looking at today's society and the things that are going on, I would hate to not have done it and have an issue," Carter said.

Rowland said if  a gun is found, security will have to see a permit. If you don't have a permit, you could face a fine. The security system should be up and running by the first of next year.

In Bonneville and Jefferson counties, metal detectors are used for security. Fremont County has security depending on how big the court case is. Deputies in Fremont said they're not looking to increase security.

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