Board approves full-time position for security entrance

Officials continue to work toward having staffed x-ray machine, metal detector at County Building door
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners – during a regular meeting on Thursday, December 15 – approved the creation of a full-time position within the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department to staff the County Building’s new security entrance.
Officials from the county and the  Sheriff’s Department have been working on the new security measures – including a staffed x-ray machine and a metal detector – for several months.
During a Board of Commissioners meeting in October of 2021, Monte J. Burmeister, Chief Probate and District Court Judge, and Colin G. Hunter, Circuit Judge, spoke to the commissioners about the need for a secure entrance to the County Building for the protection of court workers, building staff members, and the public.
At the time, officials said the county already had a walk-through metal detector available in storage. County officials later secured grant money to pay for an x-ray machine. 
In October of 2022, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department started a hiring search to staff the security station. In November, Sheriff Ryan Swope reported that the department had received several applications. 
Crawford County Administrator Paul Compo said the initial plan was to staff the security position with a few part-time workers, but the department did not receive a lot of applications from people with law enforcement experience and that was a concern for insurance purposes.
Compo – during the December 15 meeting last week – said it would be “better in the long run to have a full-time person” but it’s “going to be more expensive.” Compo and Swope said they have a plan to use someone already on staff that’s familiar with the equipment and the procedures to fill the job but board approval was required to create the full-time position. 
Undersheriff Shawn Schnoor said the department looked at Roscommon’s security measures for reference; Schnoor said Roscommon County uses “all certified officers” and having “a trained person is beneficial” because people are sometimes uncooperative at the security entrances.
The board voted 5-0 (two members absent) to approve the full-time building security position.
“This does need to happen,” one commissioner said.
Compo and Swope said they’re hoping to have the new security entrance up and running soon, sometime around the first of the year. Sheriff Swope said the officer will train others and the department plans to have additional staff available during jury trials to process people faster and get them inside for court proceedings.
Sheriff Swope said the newly configured County Building entrance – once it is ready – will have one entry and one exit with dividers. People entering the County Building will have to place their belongings on a tray for passage through the x-ray machine and they will have to walk through the metal detector, Sheriff Swope said. Any item that could be considered a weapon will not be allowed in the building, according to Swope.

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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