Commissioners discuss courthouse security

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — On Tuesday, the Miami County Commissioners approved the purchase of new recording equipment for the courts and discussed courthouse security with the sheriff.

The commissioners met with Sheriff Dave Duchak to discuss setting up security checkpoints at the Safety Building and Courthouse entrances.

Duchak pointed out that Miami County is one of the few area counties that doesn’t have a screening checkpoint at its court facilities.

“We are seeing a more coarse and disparate clientele coming into both buildings,” Duchak said.

Duchak presented the board with two different staffing options, one utilizing several part-time deputies at each location. The second option would employ a full-time deputy and a part-time private security guard at each location.

The “ballpark” personnel costs range between approximately $253,000 and $275,000, and did not include costs for security equipment like metal detectors.

Duchak suggested forming a committee to study security options in greater detail, including how other counties set up courthouse security.

“If the commission wants us to move forward with the committee, we would be meeting with some of our counterparts in adjacent counties to see their operations and see what their set-ups are as well,” Duchak said.

The commissioners authorized the purchase of a new recording system for the Safety Building and Courthouse. The five-year agreement with Justice AV Solutions includes the equipment, service and preventative maintenance for the 13 audio and video recording systems in both buildings.

The cost is $64,462 annually, which will be divided among the Common Pleas, Juvenile, and Municipal courts.

According to IT Director Matt Watkins, the county was notified in 2015 that the current equipment was deemed “end of life” and would no longer be supported. In order to continue support services through JAVS, the county would have to replace the equipment.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of four desktop computers, monitors, speakers and software for the Sheriff’s Office at a cost of $5,094.

The commissioners also authorized a contract between the Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Bradford for police protection. The Sheriff’s Office has agreed to provide 8.5 hours of police protection seven days a week.

The cost is $6,942 per month for the remainder of 2017, a 2.5 percent increase from the previous year. The village was billed $6,773 in January. Bradford will also reimburse the county for fuel, at a cost not to exceed $7,500.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at