LEWISTOWN - In an effort to tighten security at the Mifflin County Courthouse, the Mifflin County Commissioners on Thursday adopted an addendum to the county's security policy to ensure the sheriff's office is notified of any impending threats to employees or visitors to the facility.
According to the existing policy, Mifflin County government is responsible for providing a secure environment for employees and visitors to county offices by utilizing security measures designed to prevent, deter and detect the introduction of prohibited items, such as guns, knives, chemicals, bombs, etc.
Sheriff Chris Shade was present at Thursday's business meeting of the commissioners and said that, upon extensive review of the policy, "we found gaping holes with regard to department heads and employees" notifying the sheriff's office in the event of impending danger.
"There is no obligation to notify the sheriff's office of an impending threat," Shade said of the existing policy. "We need to know if a department has issues so I can take steps to prevent something from happening."
The addendum states that department heads or employees sensing a security threat should immediately notify the sheriff's department.
"One issue is that Chris is not being notified," Commissioners chairman Mark Sunderland said. "It is the sheriff's responsibility to provide protection. We need to make sure Chris is in the loop so the commissioners can be made aware of any impending threats."
"This is not just for the protection of county employees, but also for citizens who come to the courthouse to conduct business," Shade said.
Following adoption of the addendum, Shade said he will personally meet with all department heads to explain the updated policy and answer any questions or concerns that may arise.
In other business Thursday, the commissioners:
Adopted a resolution to update the Minority and Women's Business Enterprise Plan. According to James Lettiere, community development administrator, this plan will supercede a 1994 policy adopted by the State Department of Economic Development and promotes full participation of minorities and women in bidding for Community Development Block Grant-funded projects.
"This plan encourages women and minority owned firms to bid on the projects," Lettiere explained. "It's not a requirement but a goal. It's not too different from what we're doing today."
Approved the final contract with ComPros of Altoona for the 911 Center radio upgrade project.
Approved a purchase of service agreement for use, if needed, by Children and Youth Services with Children's Development Center of Williamsport.
Approved an agreement with Tyler Technologies of Dallas, Texas for yearly maintenance support of the county's MUNIS accounting software in the amount of $2,885.38.
Approved the promotion of Rylan Bargo to caseworker II in the Children and Youth Department effective Aug. 6.
Approved an offer of $1,000 for a parcel located in Burnham Borough that is currently in repository for unsold properties.
Approved the renewal of the HVAC service agreement at the Mifflin County Correctional Facility with G.R. Sponaugle of Harrisburg in the amount of $17,840. The agreement runs from Sept. 1, 2012 through Aug.31, 2013.
Approved Newton Hamilton Borough's request for $379.58 in 2011 Liquid Fuels allocation.