County to install panic buttons at courthouse - Republic-Times | News

County to install panic buttons at courthouse

By on September 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

Courthouse safety was a big topic of discussion at Monday’s meeting of the Monroe County Board.

County Commissioners passed a motion to install panic buttons throughout the old and new portions of the courthouse for employee and community safety.

Unlike most courthouses today, Monroe County’s security extends as far as police deputies on duty during court hearings and proceedings. Many courthouses around the country have much higher security levels — Plexiglas encased front desks, a locked-down facility that requires you to be buzzed in and pass through metal detectors for entry, as well as key-card entry doors for employees.

The board is taking its first step toward heightened security with the new panic buttons. It is yet to be determined when they will be installed.

Commissioners said the wireless system will allow courthouse employees to press a hidden panic button in the event of a life-threatening emergency that will alert 911 dispatch where and when such an event is taking place.

This project is expected to cost under $5,000 and is a step in the right direction toward employee safety, county board chairman Delbert Wittenauer said during Monday’s meeting.

In other county board news, Ameren has informed the Monroe County Highway Department of a new high-line project proposed from Fountain, running the length of HH Road, to Moore Road. Monroe County highway Engineer Aaron Metzger told the commissioners that residents have started to notice the project getting under way with tree-trimming along that stretch.

More information on the project will be made known once it is available.

Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein came to the meeting with a message to the community about the Sept. 28 due date for the first installment of property tax bills.

“If people could pay their first installments by Friday, Sept. 28, it would be greatly appreciated,” he said.

The county has also begun the process of setting its budget for the 2013 fiscal year

A budget hearing was held Tuesday morning, with another slated for 8 a.m. Thursday in courthouse room 220. The hearings are open to the public and involve various department heads discussing budget proposals for the coming year.

The county budget is required to be passed by Dec. 1.

Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.