We wonder, along with other Cerro Gordo County residents, if the courthouse is as secure as it should be. But we also recognize there isn't an easy answer.
On Feb. 5, a woman stabbed herself during a hearing on the second floor of the courthouse. She was treated, released and later jailed for the outcome of the court hearing.
Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals has voiced his concerns on a near annual basis since his office moved to its new location on Lark Avenue about 10 years ago.
Said Pals, "Evil can always find a way in. Security comes at a cost…money or life?"
The supervisors, with limited funds and differing priorities, have consistently settled on one deputy for the entire courthouse. He or she sits in on required hearings and otherwise patrols the facility.
They've considered metal detectors (some Iowa courthouses have them). They've looked at limiting entry points (some Iowa courthouses do that).
"We are always looking at ways to make the courthouse a safe place for are employees and the folks who come to do business," said Supervisor Tim Latham.
There isn't an easy answer to this one. This month's incident was the first notable disruption at the courthouse since the sheriff deputies moved west.
You have free articles remaining.
Could there be better security? Yes, and few will say otherwise.
But how do we pay for it? That's a discussion that needs to continue.
As another storm hits the area, we're pleading with you to slow down while driving.
A recent story from our capitol bureau on the number of excessive speeding tickets featured this anecdote:
"In the middle of a snowstorm, a driver on '100 percent snow and ice' was ticketed by an Iowa State Patrol trooper for doing 96 mph in 65 mph speed zone. The driver’s effort to get to work on time cost him about $240."
No job, no appointment, no workout, no practice, no date, no meal, no errand is so important to drive more than the posted speed limit. Add winter conditions, and you're unnecessarily putting even more lives at risk.
Plan ahead, check conditions before you leave, and ease off the gas pedal. To do otherwise on snow and ice is reckless.