Equipment donation has helped make the long-awaited project a reality.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Columbiana County officials are preparing to implement a plan aimed at bolstering courthouse security.
The county is awaiting delivery of an X-ray machine that will be part of a security station to be installed sometime in the next six months on the first floor of the historic 1872 courthouse, Commissioner Jim Hoppel said Tuesday.
The station would be in the hallway just inside the courthouse's main entrance off Market Street.
The X-ray machine will enable security officers to scan bags and other items brought into the building by visitors to ensure nothing improper, such as a weapon, comes inside.
Metal detector, too
Complementing the X-ray machine will be a metal detector now being used at a courtroom security station on the courthouse's second floor.
The metal detector will be moved to the first floor with the X-ray machine, Hoppel explained.
Establishing the first-floor station will mean locking a secondary building entrance, which is located off an alley on the building's west side.
No cost for creating and running the security station has been determined, Hoppel said.
The X-ray machine is being donated to the county by USAir, which is starting to use more sophisticated devices, Hoppel said.
The station will likely require hiring two part-time people to staff it.
Two county deputy sheriffs now run the second-floor courtroom security station.
They will probably retain that duty because judges want someone immediately available to handle courtroom security and to monitor prisoners brought in for hearings, Hoppel added.
Security station discussed
County officials have talked about creating a first-floor security station for years.
They have said there is a need to check people when they initially enter the courthouse to ensure the safety of everyone in the building, not just those on the second floor.
There have been no serious cases of violence, and county officials say they want to keep it that way.