Courthouse launches new security


By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

Those visiting the Muskingum County Courthouse will now need to leave a few extra minutes before their appointments to pass through the newly installed security system.

The courthouse recently went from a four-entrance building down to a single-entrance and exit facility. The other exit points will serve as emergency exits.

“Everyone should feel safe at the courthouse,” Muskingum County Commissioner Cindy Cameron said.

Friday, Nov. 8, the two deputies assigned to the new security system will be conducting a trial run. The system will be up and running everyday starting Tuesday, Nov. 12 as the courthouse will be closed Monday for Veterans Day.

Homeland Security, as well as the Ohio Supreme Court visited the Muskingum County Courthouse to assist with advanced security initiatives prior to the purchasing of the equipment.

Cameron said both Homeland Security and the Ohio Supreme Court said Muskingum County was one of only a few counties in the state that still had a multi-entrance courthouse.

Due to the new system, courthouse visitors are required to enter the building on the ground floor and be scanned in by deputies.

“We’re just asking people to be patient,” Cameron said. “It’s going to take a little time to get used to.”

The start-up cost of purchasing all of the equipment was about $25,000. There will be addition costs annually for the salaries of the two deputies manning the equipment.

The cost of the salaries will come out of the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office budget, although the commissioners will allocate the appropriate funds for those salaries.

“How can you put a price on someone’s life,” Cameron said.

While the security system is designed to keep incidents out of the courthouse, Cameron said it’s understood that not every system works 100 percent of the time, but the security is an effort to help keep people safe.

Cameron said the court should be “safe to work and come do business here.”

Anyone visiting the courthouse is encouraged to leave about 10 to 15 minutes of extra time before court or their appointments to make it through security. Once their business is finished inside the courthouse, all visitors will exit the same way they entered.