Security measures are on the rise at Warren County Administrative Offices. The hand-held metal detector used during July’s full County Commission meeting was only the beginning.
The county’s Building and Grounds Committee has been discussing new security measures, including the purchase of a full-sized metal detector for people to walk through, much like the one at Warren County Courthouse.
County Commissioner Carl E. Bouldin, committee chairman, says he asked Finance Department director Linda Hillis to get a quote on the device and he approved the purchase.
“We’ve got some people in this building who are worried,” said Bouldin. “They would like to have some security in this building, so I had Linda check on one of those metal detectors like we have at the courthouse. I feel like they gave us a real good price. That one at the courthouse was right at $4,000. They quoted us one for $3,698.12 and that includes a $150 hand-held wand.”
Bouldin says he discussed the price with Hillis and Warren County Executive Herschel Wells and the decision was made to purchase it. “We have to start somewhere,” he said. “This is just one of the things we have to have. This is just the beginning.”
Consideration will be given in the future, says Bouldin, to locking all side and rear doors so they can only be used for exiting the building, requiring everyone to enter through the main entrance. Also under discussion is switching to a key-less entry and card reader system for county commissioners and building employees during business hours.
“It’s a different world in which we live,” said Bouldin. “No one would have thought the situation in Chattanooga would happen, but it did.”
On July 16, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire on a recruiting center and then a U.S. Navy Reserve center. He killed four Marines and a Navy sailor, wounding others, before being killed in a gunfight with police.
County Commissioner Kenny Roberts agrees the full-sized metal detector is a good start to heightened security measures.
“I think this is a good idea,” he said. “Like you said, we have to start somewhere.”
Initially, the full-sized metal detector will be used only during full County Commission meetings on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. and during special events when it is determined the device might be needed. It will be manned by sheriff’s deputies.
Committee members Bouldin, Roberts and County Commissioners Carolyn Miller and Michael Shane Wilcher approved the purchase. County Commissioner David Rhea was absent.