Tri States Public Radio Staff
Wed March 7, 2012
County Will Upgrade Courthouse Security
The McDonough County courthouse will take the first step toward becoming a “secure courthouse.” Sheriff Rick VanBrooker said the county is a bit behind the times when it comes to security. He said a new video monitoring system will close the gap.
The county is advertising for bids. VanBrooker would like to have a battery of 18 cameras to monitor entrances, hallways, stairwells and the courtrooms.
Cost is a consideration but not the only one.
He said, “I do not want to put a ssytem in and then find out that the quality is so poor in certain conditions that we can't use it. I'm going to go to great lengths to make sure that does not happen because this will be in here for many years.”
The system will monitor daytime activities but will also act as a deterrent to after-hours vandalism.
VanBrooker is compiling specifications. The county has advertised for bids. The sheriff estimates the system will cost under $20,000. He hopes to use a variety of grants to reduce the actual cost to the county.
The system should be installed by the end of this year.