LAWTON — New security measures at the Comanche County Courthouse will limit access to the building to a single public entrance.
Central District Comanche County Commissioner Johnny Owens said the changes are needed at the courthouse to make the building more secure.
The Lawton Constitution reports there is no timetable for the security changes, but Owens wants tighter courthouse security by mid-October.
The first of the changes was implemented early this week, when the public was restricted to the west-side ground-level floor when entering the courthouse. The public will be able to exit from any door. Courthouse employees are still allowed to use the first-floor entrance near the Comanche County sheriff’s office.
Owens said the next step will be to make the metal detectors at the public entrance operational. In order to do that, Owens said he must find the money to pay someone to operate the checkpoint at the entrance.
Owens said he isn’t sure where the money will come from, but he is looking into the county’s options. He also wants to get an X-ray machine to scan purses, briefcases and other containers brought into the courthouse by the public. He said the county could obtain a grant to buy the machine.
Owens said he eventually wants courthouse personnel to have security badges to make them easier to identify.
He said he has been talking to other county officials about forming a courthouse security committee in the that would offer suggestions about how to make the courthouse safer. Owens said he wants to work with other county officials to make sure the right changes are made.
“It’s a matter of putting our heads together,” he said.