Courthouse continues work to upgrade security
REED CITY -- The Osceola County Board of Commissioners is continuing its efforts to upgrade security at the Osceola County courthouse.
Part of the security upgrade is the addition of a new annex at the north entrance of the courthouse. The annex is near completion and will include a security scanner every visitor to the courthouse will be required to enter through.
In addition, there are plans to provide scanning wands for security officers and, eventually, an x-ray machine for bags.
The board approved contracting with DK Security in Grand Rapids to provide security services, pending the reinstatement of state secondary road patrol grant funds, at its meeting on Oct. 16.
The grant, which helps fund wages and benefits for one sheriff's deputy, was part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's line-item budget vetoes.
"Since the governor's veto is taking money away from the secondary road patrol, there was discussion that instead of having to lay off a deputy, we may want to pay our own sheriff's department to provide security," Osceola County Commissioner Mark Gregory said. "If the grant money does get reinstated, the sheriff's deputies can be reassigned, and DK Security can be contacted about services at that time."
It is the intent of the sheriff's department to, at some point, provide those security services so the county doesn't have to contract out with a third-party provider, but right now the county does not have the personnel to do it, Gregory said.
When the courthouse is open, there will need to be a security guard at the door screening all the time, five days a week, and the sheriff's department is not able to provide that right now, he added.
Gregory told the board the committee is still working out the policies and procedures, but they hope to have everything in place by the end of the year so the new security measures can be implemented at the beginning of next year.