Woodbury Co. Supervisors Approve Courthouse Security Plan
SIOUX CITY, IA — They've talked about it for 20 years, and now a new security plan is going to be put in place for the Woodbury County Courthouse, but some people aren't happy about it.The sheriff, the county auditor, and others weighed in against it, but that didn't stop the Board of Supervisors from passing the plan on a 4 to 1 vote.It was another week filled with debate at the Board's meeting. Jackie Smith's plan was approved, despite opposition by Sheriff Dave Drew, Auditor Pat Gill, and even former jailer David Tripp, who was the only supervisor to vote against it. "They don't have power to arrest. They can detain them until a deputy or certified police officer comes in and determines if there's probable cause to make that arrest," was the complaint of Deputy Todd Trobaugh, the president of the local deputies union, who expressed his concerns the Sheriff's Office won't be on charge of courthouse security. The plan calls for cameras in the courtrooms that won't be monitored, similar to what you might find in a business. There will be a metal detector at the entrance to the building, and it calls for the hiring of someone who's been trained in law enforcement, or a veteran, to oversee the security. The lack of direct oversight by the Sheriff's Office has come under heavy criticism. "That's what I was most taken aback by. When the numbers came out, our office was never consulted about it. It's the same office that's consulted every year in the budget process," said County Auditor Pat Gill. "People can see what this is. This plan, at the end of the day, is the same. I can't believe a chairman of the board would say that we have to pass it before we know how we're going to pay for it," said Sheriff Dave Drew.But that's exactly what the board did, citing the potential to save money. "For myself, it's a matter of dollars and cents. Dave does not understand that there's a finite amount of money to be spent," said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Larry Clausen. "When you have the Auditor that weighs in on it, and weighs in your favor, you have the County Attorney who weighs in on it and agrees that the relationship should be with the Sheriff because who has better expertise? Then it has to be personal," Drew countered.The Board says it will make adjustments in the plan as things go along, but that's not good enough for the deputies union, which may take legal action.The president of the union believes that once the Supervisors hire a person, it will break part of their contract with the union. He says they're fully prepared to take this matter to arbitration.
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