Sheriff seeks better courthouse security
People may find the front doors of the Garfield County Courthouse locked permanently if the county commissioners approve a plan for increased security.Sheriff Lou Vallario said hes received a number of requests from judges and employees working in the courthouse who they said are concerned about recent media reports of violence inside courtrooms.According to the plan he will unveil Monday, all but the east entrance to the courthouse would be closed to the public. The west entrance would be open only to employees with magnetic identification cards. Anyone entering the building on the east side would go through a metal detector staffed by a deputy.Cameras would be installed in entrances and in the courthouse parking lots, Vallario said. He will ask the commissioners to foot the bill, which will include $20,000 worth of security equipment and about $140,000 for three new deputies.Vallario said the county owns a stand-up metal detector that it rolls out for high-profile cases.He also pointed out that its the sheriffs responsibility to provide security for individual courtrooms, but the commissioners are in charge of the entire building, which also houses the county clerk and recorders office, as well as the county treasurer and assessor.Also at their meeting Monday, the county commissioners will consider a proposal by Oxy USA to drill natural gas wells with 10-acre spacing.County oil and gas auditor Doug Dennison will present his recommendation for a contractor to conduct a county-funded hydrogeological study of natural gas impacts.The commissioners will also hold a public meeting sometime after 10:15 a.m. to consider adoption of a new pet animal control ordinance that will now require county residents to license their dogs.The county commissioners meeting begins at 8 a.m. with an opportunity for the public to address the commissioners on any topic. The board breaks for lunch from noon to 1:15 p.m., when public meetings and hearings resume. The meeting will be at Courthouse Plaza, 108 Eighth St., Room 100, Glenwood Springs. Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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