No metal detectors were at the courthouse entry Monday, and the security measures planned to be in operation June 1 were not in place as they were scheduled to be.
But, Sheriff’s Capt. Tony Aaron told the Brown County Commissioners, the courthouse security should be operational before the week is out.
“We’re waiting on the lock mechanism and emergency exit bar that’s been ordered but hasn’t arrived,” Aaron said. “It should be here this week and it will only take a day or two to get them installed when those things do arrive.”
Commissioners also approved the hiring of the full and part-time courthouse security deputies, and said Kevin Morton, who has a master’s peace officer certification, and Mike Barr, who has interim certification and is working toward permanent certification, will fill those positions. Also, with the retirement of Jerry Don McSwain, Aaron said the sheriff’s office would begin interviewing in the next couple of weeks for a part-time court bailiff’s position.
Once the security measures are in place, the general public will enter the courthouse through the main entrance of the south side of the building, the side with the veterans’ memorial monuments in the courtyard. Those with disabilities will enter from the north side of the building, where there is an ADA-approved ramp, and sheriff’s officers will bring prisoners through a north side entrance as well.
In other business Monday, commissioners approved the purchase of a used tractor for Precinct 2. Commissioner Joel Kelton said the final financial details were being worked out, but the tractor would cost about $16,000.
And Precinct 3 Commissioner Larry Traweek got approval to buy a $60,000 1996 Caterpillar Loader from Precinct 4.
“Isn’t that the tractor Precinct 3 bought from my precinct?” Kelton asked.
“It is,” Traweek said.
“You guys will probably have it worn out by the time I get around to buying it,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Steve Adams said.
Also on Monday, the commissioners approved adapting all e-mails to use the county’s domain name, “browncountytx.org”. The domain will allow 800 county addresses, and Babs Shields told the court, having the addresses officially connected to the domain would give the county control and password access, which it doesn’t have when individuals use the free yahoo, g-mail or hotmail personal addresses.
“And it is a lot more professional,” Shields said.