Security officer approved for County Courthouse
Published: Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
The Curry County Courthouse is adding another facet to its security system — a security officer. Curry County commissioners approved a security officer position for the courthouse during Tuesday’s regular meeting. The District Court will provide $95,000 over the next two fiscal years to pay the salary of a security officer for the courthouse, according to Judge David Reeb. District Attorney Matt Chandler said prosecutors have been threatened, spit on and chased to their cars. “Our bailiffs aren’t for security, they’re more for courtroom protocol,” said Reeb, who noted domestic violence and custody battles can be particularly volatile. Though sheriff’s deputies can be present during certain cases, they are usually responding to calls elsewhere if there is an emergency, according to Curry County Sheriff Matt Murray. The county will pay for the security officer position in 2010, according to a letter from Court Administrator Louis C. Moore. But Reeb said funding from the state could be available by then. County commissioners also approved an agreement that will enable the Curry County Mounted Patrol to use the rodeo arena at the county fairgrounds. The non-profit group, which puts on the Pioneer Days Rodeo, and county officials had been at odds since July over a mandatory lease agreement. The Mounted Patrol has used the arena in the past in exchange for labor. Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of the agreement. Commissioners Tim Ashley and Pete Hulder voted in opposition. The agreement allows the Mounted Patrol to pay the rent to use the arena for its annual rodeo in June with a scoreboard it purchased in 2004 for about $10,000. Hulder said he voted against the proposal because some of the signs for the rodeo are left up year-round. According to the agreement, the Mounted Patrol is required to remove its signs currently on the fence of the arena by Jan. 1, 2008. Hulder said the sponsorship signs should only be up during the event and taken down afterwards to allow the county to lease the spots. “I would like to point out to my fellow commissioners what we just did was wrong,” he said. “Now we are allowing people to derive income from county property.” In other business: Deputy Warden Audrey Barriga said the detention center is working with Clovis Community College to create a Detention Officer Training Academy. She said she hopes to start the two-week courses in February at the college. Barriga said the detention department could recruit its officers from that academy. Johnson said the detention center is short seven officers. Commissioners approved a contract with Second Chances rehabilitation program for $30,000 a year to provide county inmates rehabilitation services. Detention Department director Leslie Johnson said the program will reduce recidivism of inmates, which could reduce the cost of operating county jails. Commissioners approved a contract with Beacon of Light to provide the program $10,000 to maintain the Recovery Program for inmates that are furloughed from Curry County Detention Center. The program works like a halfway house, where inmates sentenced to the program live in Beacon of Light housing and have to find employment, according to Barriga.
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