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Courthouse security discussion at county

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners recently discussed potential security upgrades to the courthouse facility.

The discussion occurred during their Tuesday, March 26, work session, with Commissioners Ken Kestner, Dan Shoun and Brad Winters engaging in talks with the building’s security director, Lt. Paul Havel.

Lt. Havel spoke about access cards that had been received in preparation for card access security updates as they may occur.  This is a subject that should not be opened up to individual departments as to the sort of cards utilized, he said, as a standard county department issue would be put in place for uniformity purposes.

Commissioner Winters said he is not too concerned, as long as the cards feature the county logo and a photo identification of each employee.

Lt. Havel said all cards look exactly the same, and the only differences are inside the card, where information and accessibility data is stored.  One standard design alleviates a variety of problems, he said.

The third phase of the update is adding card-assess points in certain areas of the building for purposes of restricted access, Lt. Havel said.  He noted that he’d met with Property and Lands Mgr. Bob Pardee and Admin. Asst. Denise Thorsted a week earlier to discuss which doors of the building needed the card access points, and others that need to be reconfigured for exit points.

As an example of the tracking element of the system, Lt. Havel said his arrival to work at 5 a.m. would be logged within the system as a time of access, given that the courthouse doesn’t open until 8 a.m.

He said the cards have been purchased, and, by design, are not impacted by cell phone proximity, as their reading are by an internal frequency versus an external ‘bar’ that could potentially be physically damaged.

Lt. Havel told the commissioners he wanted to bring forward a few options for the cards as visuals, and suggested putting the topic on a future meeting agenda.  The commissioners tabled the issue during their April 3 regular session due to Lt. Havel’s absence that day.

In other discussion, Lt. Havel said that a group working on building security needs have determined the needs and wants for cameras around the building.  Currently, the hold up is determining what camera costs will be, as there is considerable variance in camera costs.

“It’s moving forward…,” he said.  “I’m sorry, (but) it’s slow.”

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