The Jefferson County Courthouse will get new security measures including metal detectors and security cameras. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

The Jefferson County Courthouse will get new security measures including metal detectors and security cameras. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson County Courthouse to get security upgrades

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County Courthouse is implementing new security measures that will require visitors to the second and third floors to go through a security screening and will add high-definition security cameras.

The county has budgeted $270,000 for the upgrades, but it is likely they will come in under budget, according to Mark McCauley, county director of central services.

“It won’t cost nearly that much,” McCauley said.

The most expensive upgrade purchased was a $31,000 walk-through metal detector.

The county also has ordered two hand-held metal detectors and 18 high-definition security cameras.

The cameras, and the equipment needed to store the recorded footage, cost only $5,000 according to McCauley, which was significantly under budget.

The security screening will be set up on the second floor of the courthouse. The second floor houses the district and superior courts and the county clerk.

The third floor, which houses the county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the juvenile justice office, will only be accessible by key card, McCauley said.

All elevators in the building will stop at the second floor to ensure everyone goes through the screening.

Wireless distress signals also will be put up around the building to use in case of emergencies.

“We’d like to secure the whole building,” McCauley said. “Security has been an issue here for a long time. This was a cheaper and faster option while we work on a full building option.”

The county will be hiring at least three people to run the security checkpoint, according to McCauley. The county is currently looking to hire trained employees from a security company, but officials are still looking because they want to hire people who already live in the area, McCauley said

The county budgeted about $175,000 per year for staffing the security checkpoint.

This will be a more permanent solution than the measures implemented on an as-needed basis in 2010 during the first trial of Michael J. Pierce, a double-murder case from 2009.

The courthouse has set up a metal detector on the second floor during these kinds of high-profile trials, but usually the $5,000 metal detector is stored in a jury room.

McCauley said the security equipment has been ordered, but there currently is no arrival date. He said he hopes to have the equipment installed on the second floor within the next two weeks, or as soon as possible once the equipment arrives.


Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].

More in News

Peninsula COVID-19 cases, infection rates reported

Sunday’s toll: 12 more in Clallam, none in Jefferson

Anne Koomen and baby Jasper, 6 weeks, browse the Port Townsend Library children’s section for books Jasper’s two older siblings might like. Libraries across the North Olympic Peninsula are now open for short in-person visits and self-checkout of books, CDs and DVDs. The Port Townsend Library’s grab-and-go hours are from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Open for browsing

Anne Koomen and baby Jasper, 6 weeks, browse the Port Townsend Library… Continue reading

Peninsula ready for school/childcare staff vaccinations

Both Jefferson and Clallam counties are on track to add COVID-19 vaccinations… Continue reading

Film documents building of village

“Peter’s Place: A Community Spirit Village,” a short film… Continue reading

Boeing Bluebills volunteer Dan Nieuwsma, right, talks with Bayside Housing Services case manager Mike Schleckser about building ramps to the shower units at Peter's Place. Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News
Self-governance hallmark of Peter’s Place

People without homes find refuge

Four PT men suspected in assault, kidnapping

Event happened in November; victim identified attackers last weekend

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Bagpiper Erik Evans of Port Angeles, right, leads children and staff members down Francis Street from the old clubhouse of the Port Angeles Unit of the Boys & Girls Club to the new Turner Clubhouse on its first day of occupancy on Friday.
New clubhouse opens for Port Angeles children

Boys Girls Clubs project doubles size of old facility

Most Read