New Nelson Courthouse To Become Secure Facility

©2006-2011 : The original Nelson Courthouse as seen in this 2006 file photo. With the new addition to be completed this year, BOS members voted last week (1.27.11) to make the building a secure facility.

Nelson County, Virginia

You’re pretty accustomed to having a metal detector wand used for screening at airports across the country, but that procedure, or something similar, will soon be coming to the new Nelson County Courthouse. The Nelson Board of Supervisors approved funding last week for personnel to be at the public entrance to the new courthouse.

According to the Rural minutes from the January 27th meeting;

“The Sheriff’s Office to provide trained security personnel to staff the main courthouse entrance from 8am until 5pm each weekday that the courthouse is open to the public and at additional times as directed by the Judge of the Circuit Court or the County Administrator or Sheriff. The security personnel will screen all persons entering the courthouse by metal detection device or other means.”

The minutes continued by saying:

“(Note: there will be only one public entrance to the courthouse – all other doors will be accessed by key or key card.) The
agreement provides for county funding to the Sheriff to employ, train and equip three part-time security persons for 90 hours per week at
$14.97 per hour and $5,361 for their initial equipage and training for the balance of the current fiscal year. Mr. Carter said that the funding estimates provide for occupation of the new courthouse in March of this year.”

There were at least two BOS who objected to what was described as excess staffing:

“Mr. Hale {Allen} said that he sees no need for two people at the door at all times as there seems to be a minimal amount of work involved. Mr. Bruguiere said that he thought there should be security at the door only on court days. Mr. Harvey said that the point of the new building was security and asked why would the county not then secure it. Mr. Hale said that it would be nice if the security personnel had other work to do while sitting at the door. Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize staff to execute the agreement as presented.”


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