Security is tightening at the Howard County Courthouse. Board of Commissioners President Paul Raver says the board approved more stringent security measures on Monday. He says X-ray machines and metal detectors will be installed at the courthouse entrance. Two full-time security officers are also currently being trained. The vote completes a plan for total security begun after a bombing inside the courthouse 20 years ago. Explosives were detonated inside the building in April 1987 by a man on trial for drug charges. The blast killed the bomber and injured 15 others. Raver says it’s taken two decades to get to this point because of funding issues and public pressure for a hassle-free courthouse. Raver says that concern was partially eliminated by moving administrative offices out of the courthouse.
The new security procedures also require all county employees to wear photo identification badges. Raver says frequent visitor cards will be available for 50 dollars for people making daily trips to the courthouse. Both visitor and county ID cardholders will be able to skip the entry checkpoint. Raver says the X-ray machines and metal detectors should be in place by the end of the month.