Despite spending more than $382,000 to improve security at Faribault County buildings and offices, there’s still some tweaking that needs to be done.
At the last County Board meeting, Sheriff Mike Gormley and Chief Deputy Scott Adams gave a report on a security issue that occurred early last month.
Adams says that someone at the Human Services building pushed the “red panic” button and that he and a deputy who were nearby responded to the call.
When they arrived, someone with a backpack was standing outside the annex portion between the courthouse and Human Services building.
“He was uncooperative,” says Adams. “It looked like he was reaching into the backpack for something. We found some knives and drugs.”
According to a court complaint, two large fixed-blade knives were found in the backpack.
Dwayne Eugene Money, 24, of Blue Earth was charged and pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault of peace officer and a fifth-degree drug charge. A disorderly conduct charge was dismissed.
An ongoing workgroup has been formed to address security issues. Members include Gormley, Adams, auditor John Thompson, central services director Dawn Fellows, Troy Beckman, and commissioners Greg Young and Tom Loveall.
Adams says the group may look at installing additional surveillance camera angles and staff training.
“Staff has received training in a lot of areas, but nothing on what to do if they see someone with a backpack,” he says.
Adams says another solution may involve having a full-time deputy assigned to the courthouse.
“There a lot of courthouses that have gone to that. It’s very common,” he says. “That might be something that we’ll have to do and may be a matter of time it happens here. The safety of our staff and the public is our main concern.”