A committee appointed by Miami County commissioners is examing security at the Safety Building and Courthouse in downtown Troy. The Miami County Courthouse has a metal detector on the third floor. STEVE BAKER/STAFF

County examines security at court, safety buildings

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The buildings house county courts and other departments.

Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak, a member of the committee, applauded Tuesday’s decision by the commission.

Duchak asked the commission Feb. 28 to consider placing security checkpoints at the entrances to the buildings. The sheriff at the time said “a more coarsened and disparate clientele” had been coming into the buildings and added he and staff were often approached by employees and others with security concerns.

The appointment of the committee comes two weeks after Judge Joseph J Bruzzese Jr. was ambushed and shot outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville as he headed into work on Aug. 21.

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Other members of the committee include: Commissioner Greg Simmons, Judge Gary Nasal, Auditor Matt Gearhardt, Facilities/Operations Director Chris Johnson, Assistant Municipal Prosecutor Andrew Johnston and citizen Charles “Bill” Frank. A Troy resident, Frank is the retired Troy police chief.

The commission did not set a specific deadline for the committee report, Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien said.

The committee was asked to:

- Investigate and prepare a report of the “many options” the county has for an improved security presence in the buildings.

- Include in the report how counties contiguous to Miami and a least two counties of similar population facilitate security for their court building(s).

- Analyze which of the options would best fit the local facilities

- Develop a projected budget for each option’s implementation and for each plan include a forecast of the overall five-year cost.

Duchak said some equipment such as two metal detectors - one located in each building in third floor court areas now - could be used in a broader security plan. Additional equipment such as cameras and alarms will be needed but the largest cost will be for personnel, he said.

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