MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Safety Building’s new security checks garnered a variety of banned items during its first week.
Deputy Richard Manns said approximately 250 people per day went through the body scanners and had their personal items checked for weapons and banned objects during the first week of screening. Knives, razor blades, scissors, knitting needles, pepper spray, any sharp or dangerous tools, ammunition and firearms are banned from the Safety Building.
Among the items discovered, was a magazine of ammunition. The officers said the woman, a CCW holder, had left her handgun in the car, but had forgot she had a left the ammunition in her purse. She was able to return it to her vehicle before continuing into the building.
Other items included pepper spray, a set of knitting needs, several pairs of scissors and multiple pocket knives.
Captain Dave Norman said residents have the option of returning banned items to their vehicles or the sheriff’s office will take possession of them to be destroyed.
The response to the security system has been positive from both the public and the employees, Norman said.
Manns said random checks of employees are conducted. Norman said courthouse employees will be subjected to screening in the future. Deputies will rotate to man the station to learn more about the security process.
“We are going to incrementally start this process, and all employees are subject to random screens,” Norman said. Norman said deputies manning the security system are able to adjust their screening process if needed. “For the most part, the public has been receptive to this.”
Norman said Miami County was one of the last courthouse campuses to implement security measures in the state. Darke County will begin its security program at its courthouse next week.
Courthouse employees are identified by ID badges. The new security measures also has moved public access from the plaza entrance only.
The monitors above the station allow deputies to monitor courtrooms, offices and hallways throughout the building. A similar station will begin operation in the Miami County Courthouse in the near future.
The safety checkpoints have been an ongoing project for various county departments, including the courts, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, the IT Department and the Operations and Facilities Department.
The entire project cost approximately $100,000, which also included the cost of additional personnel, cameras, alarms, hardware, phone lines, and work stations.
The X-ray machines, which were purchased from from Event Metal Detectors/Security Detection out of Sylvania, cost $49,690, which also included two roller beds and a two-year extended service contract, as well as fees for delivery, setup, and orientation.