Hancock County

Hancock County

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Security changes coming to courthouse

Updated: Tuesday, October 8 2013, 04:59 PM EDT

Sheriff wants to use retired officers to provide courthouse security

By: NEWS9 and Ryan Eldredge


Anyone who's ever been to the Hancock County Courthouse may has noticed that getting inside is much easier than many others in the Ohio Valley.

There's no X-ray machine, no metal detector and no security guards.

But, Sheriff Ralph Fletcher is looking to change that for the betterment of his department and his deputies.

"Most of the courthouses in the state of West Virginia are already doing this. I think we are one of two left who are not up and running yet," Fletcher said.

Fletcher and county commissioners have been working to make changes to the building itself, and those changes have been given the green light. But Fletcher said the changes to the building and the security devices are only part of the solution to improve safety. Because there's no security at the courthouse, he has to pull deputies off the streets and assign them to the courthouse.

So, to avoid using deputies to man the courthouse, Fletcher wants to pull a group of retired officers together to help provide security for the entire courthouse – including courtrooms – which will free up more of his deputies who act as bailiffs.

"We have to do it. It needs to be done. (It's) just how we're going to accomplish it. It's a win-win for them, and it's also going to be a win-win for us," he said.

Fletcher said he hopes to boost the size of his detective division through the moves. He said the poll of officers will start out at 10, and all of them will be on a part-time basis.

Security changes coming to courthouse

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