Bid numbers are in as Overton County Sheriffs officials try to upgrade security at its facilities.
Sheriff John Garrett said the program will remodel the public space at the Justice Center, specifically in the Clerk’s Office. Garrett said the bullet-resistant glass would be safer than regular glass.
“With the world that we’re living in now, we never know what’s going to happen, and we never know when someone might have an idea of trying to come in and maybe harm these employees or whatever, due to maybe ongoing litigation in the courtroom or in the courts,” Garrett said. “Unfortunately, sometimes people get upset at the wrong people and try to try to take things out on them. So we want to try to make sure that our staff is as safe as they can possibly be while they come to work.”
Improvements will also be made at the Master’s Office, located on the first floor of the Old Courthouse.
“There’s a number of folks that work in there, and that would make a safer environment for them as well,” Garrett said. “That would essentially get us a bulletproof counter in the Clerk and Master’s Office and the bulletproof counter at the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.”
Garrett said luckily the county has not dealt with a serious security issue in these areas. But, he said adjusting to the times is critical.
“There have been some folks that have gotten upset before, but it never rose to a level where we thought that anybody was in imminent danger,” Garrett said. “But you never know when that stuff can happen. So there’s no saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure any day. So we’re just trying to make things safer just in case a situation like that would arise.”
Garrett said the money was part of a state courtroom security grant. Garrett said every year, his team explores what grants might help Overton County.