Plans to Improve Security at Woodbury Co. Courthouse Cause Controversy
SIOUX CITY, IA — A plan to improve security at the Woodbury County Courthouse has stirred some controversy.The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Dave Drew, and District Court Judge John Ackerman all want to see it get done, but some big questions remain about how to do it and who should oversee these new security measures.After members of the public only got fifteen minutes to review the new security proposal for the Woodbury County Courthouse, there was outrage from the Taxpayer Research Council. "Apparently a new courthouse security plan was written on April 20th, and never provided publicly until 15 minutes before discussion and action was going to occur," said Taxpayer Research Council Executive Director James Van Bruggen.Even county auditor Pat Gill was completely unaware of this proposal, which was brought to the board. A decision on the proposal was moved due to a lack of transparency.Part of this proposal included courtroom cameras, without anyone to monitor them. "This is what Blackhawk (County, Iowa) did. They have three cameras and they archive them in case there is something they need to go back and review. They aren't meant to be monitored," said Woodbury County Supervisor Jaclyn Smith.Besides the lack of communication, Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew thinks this is just unacceptable. "I mean I've never heard of this. A camera and nobody monitors it? I gotta be honest... I'm at a loss for that," Drew said.The sheriff is sending his own security plan for review before the supervisors take a vote next week.