Missaukee County kicks entrance issue to committee

Missaukee County Commissioners sent the question of which courthouse entrance to close to a county committee.

LAKE CITY — No bailiffs, no security at the entrances — and according to two safety committees, too many entrances, period, at the Missaukee County Courthouse.

“In comparison to other counties ... I don’t know of another courthouse that has less security,‘ Missaukee County Prosecutor David Denhouten told county commissioners during October’s board meeting.

His remarks followed a decision from commissioners to send the question of courthouse public entrance to the county’s Building and Grounds committee.

“We have to decide which entrance we’re going to keep and which ones we’re going to close,‘ Missaukee County Administrator Precia Garland previously told commissioners during another committee meeting.

As Garland had explained to commissioners, wheelchair accessibility and future security needs, such as a screening area, may mean that one entrance is a better option than the other.

Two separate Missaukee County committees, a safety committee and a committee specifically for courthouse safety, reached the common conclusion that Missaukee County should reduce the number of entrances to the building so county workers can keep better tabs on where threats might come from.

The single-entrance courthouse is a tenet from a Michigan Supreme Court security specialist’s report, Garland told county commissioners in a memo.

The courthouse has several entrances; two are in contention to be the future “main entrances‘ to the building — the other one will become exit-only.

The existing main entrance on South Canal Street would need work to become wheelchair accessible, while the parking lot entrance that is already accessible might not have enough space to accommodate future security needs, like the aforementioned screening area, Garland explained.

Cadillac News