Dave Maxwell
Courthouse department heads met this week with Sheriff Kerry Lee to talk about additional security plans for the building. They plan to meet again in May to review what ideas have been developed.

Courthouse security in Pioche was again a topic of discussion this week. Sheriff Kerry Lee met with courthouse department heads Tuesday morning to review the draft of a plan that Planning and Building Director Cory Lytle and Emergency Management Coordinator Rick Stever had created.

“We just talked about different options, nothing major. Some about lockdown procedures and what we could do regarding ideas from the different department heads,” Lee said. “Maybe new door locks and different security systems available that we could examine.”

It was decided that each of the department heads at the courthouse will have a different area to research to try to come up with some good ideas to improve security, now and for the future, to take to the county commissioners.

Lee said most all the important security questions have been addressed with the exception of lockdown. “We will develop that, too, and have it added to the procedure manual and make sure everybody has a copy of that.”

Improving security at the courthouse stems primarily from an incident March 13 this year, when two armed people, who had escaped custody in White Pine County, were reported heading south in Lincoln County. At the time, Lee called for a lockdown at the courthouse and Pioche Elementary.

He explained, “I was concerned that since the couple was headed toward Pioche, if we had not been able to intercept them (which was done), they might have gone into town, crashed their car or fled on foot to anywhere, the courthouse, the school, or a public building, and we could end up with a barricaded or hostage situation. Those are some of the bigger buildings in town, and they could get into them easily. That’s where groups of people gather and a bad situation could then turn worse. That was my reasoning,” he said.

Later in May, the department heads will meet again with Lee to see what ideas and possible resources they have found.