New security being installed at the Knox County courthouse

Two new sheriff's deputies will be hired in addition to new equipment.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 6:30 PM

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - In 2017 someone threw a burning bottle of alcohol through a window at the Knox County probation office causing a fire. While the fire was contained, the threats to the courthouse and its staff have not slowed down.

Knox County commissioner Kellie Streeter says, "We have had vandalism. We have had verbal threats. We have had some physical threats. We have had people be left in this building with weapons. We can't do that in 2020. We're seeing more and more violence in our government buildings."

Sheriff Doug Vantlin says his office makes routine visits for the wrong reasons.

Vantlin says, "We make an arrest four or five times a week we arrest somebody at the courthouse. Then tempers sometimes flare whenever you have a divorce hearing or something like that"

That spurred the county to take action. Grant funding help to purchase a new metal detector and scanner. Crews this week are installing new locks. Certain doors will now require a keycard to enter.

Vantlin says, "It's now up to the sheriff's office to get the deputies in and that's what we are in the process of now. Hiring two court security deputies to man the machines and security for the courthouse."

The 7th Street entrance will now become the only way folks can enter the building. All in hopes of keeping visitors and employees safe.

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