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Wisconsin Officials Consider Arming Courthouse Guards

Image: Global Security Services

Wisconsin Officials Consider Arming Courthouse Guards

Brent Sutherland, director of facilities management for Rock Co., said that the idea of arming the guards was proposed by Global Security Services, which supplies guards for the courthouse.

Security guards at the Rock County Courthouse could be armed soon, as officials consider allowing them to carry guns.

Brent Sutherland, director of facilities management for Rock Co., told NBC-15 that the idea of arming the guards was proposed by Global Security Services, which supplies guards for the courthouse.

Sutherland said arming the security guards would tie into efforts to improve safety in the courthouse. They’ve previously updated the cameras in the building and added card access to the doors, and Sutherland said construction is underway to move security screenings to the front entrance.

“I tried to gather feedback from all the different entities in their position on us upgrading to armed officers. So, the first part was the General Services Committee to make a resolution,” he said.

Cmdr. Craig Strouse of the Rock Co. Sheriff’s Office helped review Global Security Service’s proposal.

“We reviewed their policies and we reviewed the company in general, met with them, and we found that what they have appears reasonable,” Strouse said.

Rock Co. Administrator Josh Smith said he had reservations and stressed the importance of balancing security and a welcoming environment. Smith said armed security guards could negatively impact people coming to the courthouse for county services.

Arming the security guards would cost the county $13,000. Strouse said the county board was the one to make the decision.

“In a perfect world, we would man it. But, it’s a funding issue. If the county government decides to have security guards go armed at the front, great, we are fine with it and are comfortable with the decision. If they decide to not, that is fine too,” Strouse said.

Sutherland supports the proposal and said he will draft a resolution for it in case the General Services Committee approves it on Feb. 19. If approved, it would then go to the County Board for approval.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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