County Building has new security entrance

People entering the facility must pass through a metal detector and submit belongings for an x-ray machine check
The County Building’s new security entrance featuring a staffed x-ray machine and a metal detector is now operational.
In October of 2021, Chief Probate and District Court Judge Monte J. Burmeister and Circuit Judge Colin G. Hunter – during a regular board meeting of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners – asked the board to consider adding a secure entrance to the facility 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, and they later secured grant money for the x-ray machine.
In October of 2022, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department started a hiring search to staff the security station, initially attempting to get multiple part-time employees for the position, and the department encountered a few issues during the process. In December of 2022, Sheriff Ryan Swope asked the board of commissioners to create a full-time position to staff the entrance because the Sheriff’s Department and county officials had a plan to move a current employee to the security station. The board approved.
The Sheriff’s Department hired bailiff Doug Sherman to serve as the building’s security entrance officer; he started on January 3, Sheriff Swope said.
Sherman said he has family in the area and retired here after serving the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department for 25 years. After moving to the Grayling area, he took a job as court bailiff, and then Swope recruited him for the security entrance position.
“I kind of stumbled right into this,” Sherman said. “I was looking for something to do to keep me busy.”
Sherman said he has been “up here all the time” and is familiar with Grayling.
“I love the area,” Sherman said. “It’s nice to be close to family.”
Sherman said “so far, so good” with regard to the opening of the new security entrance. Now, anyone going into the County Building must submit belongings to go through the x-ray machine and they must pass through the metal detector. 
Sheriff Swope said any item that could be considered a weapon will not be allowed in the building.
According to Sherman, the most common items people have had to take back to their vehicles are pocket knives. Sherman said he has not seen any guns come through but he did see a “credit card knife” for the first time in his career.
Sheriff Swope said “from January 3 to January 13, 2023 at 3 p.m. 866 people have come through the security checkpoint and 40 weapons have been found.”
Sherman said a few people have been resistant to the security but most have been “receptive” to the change.
“I think it’s just a learning curve,” Sherman said.
During a regular meeting of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, January 12, Sheriff Swope reported that the station was up and running.
“It’s going really well,” Sheriff Swope said. “(Mr. Sherman has) been a perfect fit.”
“He’s doing great,” said Crawford County Administrator Paul Compo.

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

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

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