Supervisors, sheriff still debating the best way to secure Woodb - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Supervisors, sheriff still debating the best way to secure Woodbury County courthouse

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - County leaders got fired-up Tuesday over how to best handle courthouse security.

One security proposal was drawn up by supervisor Jackie Smith. "I didn't see anything in black and white with real figures," Smith said.
That's why Smith submitted her proposal. She said her plan, which is expected to cost $213,815 is modeled after Black Hawk County. It includes two people manning the front door, but on days when juries are present, they will up that number to three. There will also be a full-time leader overseeing the entire operation, and cameras are back in the equation. "It would still be decided if they would just be archived and reviewed if necessary or if the individuals at the front door would be monitoring the cameras," Smith said.

Chairman George Boykin likes how Smith's plan includes cameras because he says that's an important part of keeping the courthouse secure. "This plan, to me, is a better plan because the original plan by the sheriff recommended no cameras whatsoever," Boykin said

But, the sheriff said even though his plan doesn't include cameras at this point, his plan stayed within the county's proposed budget of $250,000 for courthouse security. And, he said it makes more sense for the county to go with his proposal. "Why you would go with security that doesn't have a sheriff overseeing it, I think it is probably falling on its face," Drew said.

Drew's plan totals about $188,500 and includes one deputy sergeant overseeing reserve deputies. The sheriff's plan will have more personnel to draw from, while staying within the budget. He considers his plan "more cost effective" and said it makes more sense for the sheriff to oversee the operation instead of the county's human resources department. Drew said he feels left out of this process so far, but Boykin said that's not the case. "I don't think that we're leaving the sheriff out at all because he's been fully involved in the meetings. We have discussed many of the items that he's concerned about," Boykin said.

The sheriff isn't the only one who feels left out in this decision making process. "If only a few select people were allowed information and not the public as a whole, then it's not transparency," Executive Director of the Taxpayer's Research Council James Van Bruggen said.
"No one is trying to have a secret plan. We want to be transparent. We want the public to be able to weigh in on this," Smith said.

With that in mind, they didn't make a decision on courthouse security at Tuesday's meeting, but they hope to have some kind of agreement by next week.

The sheriff's department said it could cause problems with the deputy's union if supervisor Jackie Smith's plan is adopted.

The sheriff said that's because the union wanted a serving Sergeant to oversee the operations and by forming a new division for courthouse security, they may need to work out new contracts with the union. 

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