County commission to consider courthouse security. 

February 7, 2022

County commission to consider courthouse security. 

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By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal for courthouse security when it meets Tuesday. For the past several years county commissioners, the Mason County Sheriff’s Office and the Mason County Courts have been discussing the need for security at the courthouse. The commission’s Public Safety and Courts Committee is recommending the county enter into a contract with STT Security of Mt. Pleasant from April 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2023. 

Services to be provided include two uniformed, armed personnel work Monday through Friday, with holidays off. Coverage times will be from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be evening coverage for meetings scheduled by the county. 

The cost of the service is $27.36 per hour per guard for 2022 and $28.12 per hour per guard in 2023. The county will provide a walk-through metal detector, x-ray screening machine, hand held metal detector, personal protective equipment, and other required protective and needed supplies to carry out screening work, portable public safety radio, and a chair. 

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole has been encouraging the county commission to heighten security at the courthouse. Cole had made a proposal for the sheriff’s office to provide the security coverage, but the commission’s public safety and courts committee chose a private firm instead. 

Sheriff Cole said he believes the action will be “a step in the right direction and a long time coming… I do like the option to readdress this in a year or two. That gives us a chance to talk about what has gone right and what we might need to look at again to improve.” 

For the past 17 months the courthouse has had a security guard in the building who has screened visitors with COVID-19 questions. County Administrator Fabian Knizacky said retaining those services was a mutual decision by the county commission and the courts. The security firm being considered is a different firm and will replace the current COVID-19 screeners.

The county commission meets at 7 p.m. in the conference room of the Mason County Airport Terminal. 

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