Although less than requested, Moffat County has been awarded grant money to bolster security at the county courthouse.
Earlier this month, the Court Security Commission announced its approval of $1.75 million in grant money to 47 Colorado counties to pay for new metal detectors, surveillance cameras, additional personnel, training opportunities and other security measures.
Moffat County's portion of those funds is $96,468, less than the $119,750 the County's Court Security Team requested, but enough to add improved security measures.
The funds will be used to pay for 1.5 court security officers, two 800 mHz radios, two TASERs and a hand-held security wand.
Courthouse security is currently limited to panic buttons in courtrooms and offices, and security provided by the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, when requested or in high-profile cases, according to the Court Security Team's grant application.
"It's great," Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said of the grant award. "This is exactly what the judges have asked for. This is what we've been striving for. We want to utilize (the grant) the best we can."
Tom Gray, Moffat County commissioner and a Court Security Team member, said the county will begin implementing the improved security measures at the beginning of 2009.
Items the Court Security Team requested funding for, but were not allocated under the grant award, include a walk-through weapons/metal detector and building renovations.
Nonetheless, Gray and Jantz agreed the grant money and the measures it will pay for are an improvement for the courthouse.
A brief outline of the objectives for the grant money, according to the Court Security Team application, states that the funding will help secure the courthouse's third floor, which includes district and county courts, probation and the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office. Access will be limited to ensure visitors are scanned for weapons when entering the third floor, according to the application.
Jantz said the grant money provides "peace of mind."
"It's peace of mind not only for our judges, but also for our public," Jantz said. "It works for both sides."
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 875-1791, or firstname.lastname@example.org.