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Panel formed to improve security at courthouse

The refurbished 1927 Harrison County Court House, unveiled at the Dec. 18 rededication ceremony, isn’t just another pretty building. It has also been retrofitted with some of today’s most sophisticated, behind-the-scene security measures.
Among those are video cameras, panic buttons and fire alarms that meet the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. And now it’s time for someone to learn how to operate all those devices and to map out plans should a security breach occur.
Bruce A. Canal of Canal Consulting and Investigations Inc., Indianapolis, told the Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday that it’s time to take advantage of the 80 hours of training that was included in the security system package. The hardware plus the training are part of $150,000 paid for heating, plumbing, rewiring and security, said Auditor Pat Wolfe.
The commissioners named a task force to help them come up with plans to deal with specific threats.
Included are Greg Reas, director of Harrison County Emergency Management Agency; Sheriff Mike Deatrick; Dave Simon, building maintenance director; Gary Kleeman, director of Emergency Medical Services; Gerald Saulman as a fire department representative, and Charlie Maxey, a retired Indiana State Police officer who is now the bailiff for Harrison Circuit Court.
Courthouse and other county employees should know what to do if a fire alarm or panic button sounds, Canal said.
Altogether, $3.8 million has been spent on the courthouse rejuvenation and there is work yet to be done on the third floor, Wolfe said. Money left over from the $4.5 million set aside for the courthouse will be used on the renovation of the old, vacant jail across the street from the courthouse.