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Courthouse gets $28,000 for security upgrades

The Davison County Courthouse is about to get more secure. Thanks to a $28,375.75 grant from the South Dakota Unified Judicial System's Court Security Grant Program, the county courthouse will receive a variety of upgrades. The grant, which was m...

The Davison County Courthouse is about to get more secure.

Thanks to a $28,375.75 grant from the South Dakota Unified Judicial System’s Court Security Grant Program, the county courthouse will receive a variety of upgrades.

The grant, which was met with cheers from the Davison County Commission at its regular Tuesday meeting, was pursued after the commission gave the Davison County Sheriff’s Office permission to apply for the grant in September.

Although the initial authorization allowed the county sheriff’s office to seek a 50-50 grant that would split the costs between the county and the grant program, the Davison County Sheriff Courtroom Deputy Josh Peterson said his department received full funding from the UJS program.

The Sheriff’s Office pursued an application that would help cover costs to acquire $5,030 for a replacement metal detector and metal security wands, $3,155.55 for a security door keypad at the Clerk of Courts office and a $20,190 glass partition that would serve as a security screen separating the Clerk of Courts employees from the public.

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The replacement metal detector will replace the existing detector that was donated to the county by a U.S. Marshal’s office. Peterson said he will have to contact the U.S. Marshals before deciding what to do with the existing detector and hopes to order its replacement this week.

The new security wands -- which will be used alongside the detectors -- will also be helpful at the Davison County Courthouse, Peterson said, when jury trials are in effect. Security wands are currently used at the Davison County Public Safety Building, and Peterson said they have led to seizures of all kinds of materials from pocket knives to illegal drugs.

“We use it at the Public Safety Building now for court, and you’d be surprised at the stuff we find,” Peterson told the commission. “People come in with just about everything.”

Peterson said the detector will be semi-portable, with the ability to move it from the third floor to the second floor, if needed. But it’s not expected to receive heavy use.

“It won’t be used all of the time, but it will replace the one that we have there now that’s pretty tired,” said Peterson.

For the 2016 fiscal year, the UJS Court Security Grant Program made $110,000 available to upgrade security at South Dakota’s courthouses. Since 1999, the grant has designated $674,630 for 230 similar projects including the purchase of panic alarm systems, locks and metal detectors.

Other business

  • Acknowledged the absence of Commissioner Randy Reider.

  • Renewed liquor licenses for the Wild Oak Golf Course and the Kongo Klub.

  • Met with Davison County Veterans Service Officer Jessica Davidson to hear an update on veterans claims and authorize permission for an open house from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 16 open house for veterans in the Davison County North Offices

  • Declined to raise the wage for an administrative position in the warrants division of the Davison County Sheriff’s Office and declined a request from Sheriff Steve Brink to allow a separate administrative position to become a full-time employee. The commission approved the transition of a Davison County Jail employee from full-time to part-time until June 30, with the hourly wage set at $16 an hour.

  • Acknowledged the general fund surplus analysis, approved bills and timesheets, acknowledged volunteers, authorized an operating transfer to the Office of Emergency Management for $45,760, authorized an automatic supplement of $3,444 to the Sheriff’s Office from grant funding acquired for overtime reimbursements and approved the diesel fuel quote.

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