The McHenry County Board apparently thinks its members are not safe enough when meeting.
Recently they have had a couple of Woodstock Policemen at their meetings.
Perhaps it was the large number of people from Coral Township who showed up to express their displeasure with the Fraternite of Notre Dame re-zoning request.
In any event, this is what appears in the December 14th Management Services minutes about security:
Administration Building Security
The committee members were provided with a memo outlining security options during the County Board meetings. This issue will be discussed by the full County Board tomorrow in executive session.
They wanted to provide the options for consideration to this committee, including the costs for each option. The discussion will involve a policy decision by the County Board.
They will need to determine what level of comfort they are looking to achieve. The various options will increase security costs from $20,000 to $100,000 each year.
A new security firm is now under contract.
Before the County Board meeting tomorrow all individuals entering the facility will be “wanded” prior to entry into the building. Wanding will occur after 4:30 pm.
The security staff have been trained in this process.
Signage will be included for those entering the facility. If anyone is found carrying a weapon, they will be asked to remove this item from the facility.
The committee members were reminded there is an extra costs for the extra security.
The committee will come back in January and determine the next step in this process.
The Sheriff is expected to discuss this issue with the County Board is January.
He is talking about allowing one deputy for attendance during the County Board meetings.
Concern was voiced they would not get a consensus from the County Board regarding what they feel is appropriate security since they all seem to have a differing opinion on this issue.
The committee members were informed there has been an elected official that has complained about security within this facility since it opened.
It was stated the elected officials can decide how much security they want within each office.
It is up to each elected official to decide on how to secure their offices.
The committee members were informed, there has not been any large security issues identified within this facility.
Some minor events have occurred though they were all handled by staff in the departments.
Some of the recommendations have large costs involved.
The County Board will need to obtain a consensus to implement increased security within this facility.
It was suggested they engage a consultant to determine the best way to move forward.
The conversation by the County Board members should provide the needed direction.
Additional security can be obtain, though there will be an additional cost.
The committee members were informed they are working on updating some of their policies.
The County Board, along with the department heads, will be involved in a table top exercise in the future, for an active assailant.
They will also be involved in tornado and fire drills so all understand what is required for each incident.
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During one County Board meeting, one Board member asked that a Sheriff’s Department K-9 be at the next meeting.
If Board members are really afraid for their lives, maybe they should install steel plating on the fronts of their desks, so they would have something secure to duck behind.
Some might conclude that the more security a public official or office has, the more important they are.
I remember being astonished when I discovered that the Treasurer’s Office in the Administration Building looked like the old bank in Union.
Bulletproof glass separated the public from the public employees.
Ready to withstand a bank robber from the 1920’s or 1930’s.
Now, I admit that a little man punched me in the hall outside my office in the Old Courthouse during tax collection season when I was County Treasurer, but bulletproof glass?
A bit much for a public office, it seemed to me.