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Security upgrade planned at courthouse

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The Comanche County Courthouse is in the process of a minor security upgrade.

The county commissioners approved the purchase of a new secure access system for doors on the first floor of the courthouse and a digital video recording system for the Comanche County Sheriff Office’s security cameras during Monday’s regular weekly meeting.

The changes are coming after a review of courthouse security by Johnny Owens, the recently installed Central District Commissioner. The Central District commissioner is responsible for the daily operations of the courthouse.

By the start of next week, Owens said, he hopes to have the doors on the first floor of the courthouse — basement level — secured with either a swipe-card system or a pass code system.

The upgrade will cost $4,857 and will be completed by Safe & Sound Alarms.

The same company is providing the DVR system, which will allow the sheriff’s office to store and review security camera footage from all over the courthouse for up to a month. That system will cost $4,490.

Owens said security concerns for the first floor were serious because that is where the sheriff’s office is located. He said some sort of security upgrade will eventually be made to the second floor of the courthouse, which is on the street level.

Owens said officials needed to move quickly to improve security, but they did contact a number of companies to find the best cost package on the upgrades.

The commissioners also approved a contract with A-1 Janitorial Services for $5,462 per month to have the service clean the courthouse. Owens said janitorial work was previously handled in house, but one janitor quit and another was experiencing health issues that caused her to have to leave the job. He said officials called four or five companies and none wanted to take on such a large obligation, but A-1 agreed to take the contract.