County commissioners earlier this week passed new security rules requiring photo identification badges for employees, and metal detectors and X-ray machines at the public entrance. This comes after a decision last fall to use $29,295 of homeland security money for the upgrades and security officers. Certain visitors, including attorneys, can obtain a frequent visitor pass for $50 that allows them to bypass the detectors.
Workers will have to swipe their cards at a reader at the employee entrance and won't have to go through the security. No weapons will be allowed inside the building. Anyone violating the rules can be fined up to $2,500 and employees could be fired. The new security measures are expected to be in place by the end of July.
Officials told the Indiana Lawyer previously they'd been considering security changes since 1987, when a man being tried on drug charges smuggled into the courthouse a briefcase with pipe bombs inside. It exploded, killing the man and injuring 15 people.