The Lincoln County Courthouse is in the process of undergoing a security upgrade that will be activated shortly. Courthouses and other law enforcement facilities throughout Oregon and the nation have been going to a single public access point for quite some time prompted by the September 11th attacks in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.
However, Lincoln County government officials obviously tried to maintain a less than militant face to local residents – hoping to keep the publics’ experience with the courthouse leisurely, helpful and friendly. After 9-11 and with the ensuing incidents of violence, whether by bombings or mass killings, the decision was made that the Lincoln County County will step up security for the safety of the public and for the security of courthouse employees.
Both the Olive Street and east entrances to the courthouse will be closed to the public, leaving the south entrance as the only entrance that the public will be allowed to use when entering and exiting the courthouse. Just inside the south entrance there is a sign high on the wall indicating “No Guns Allowed,” “Security Checkpoint Inside/X-Ray and Metal Detectors,” and “Any bags will be searched.”
Obviously, when the checkpoint is put into operation, a quick run to the courthouse may turn out to be something more than a “quick run.” Allow extra time and travel light when you enter the courthouse – leave what you don’t absolutely need in your car.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Dave Carey said they’re still nailing down when all the ancillary work will be done but he expects that the front doors to the Courthouse facing Olive will be locked and secured next week – their only use will be as fire exits. The rest of the project will take a bit longer. But when it’s done, he said, the security check-point at the south entrance will be operating full time. So again, add a few minutes to any appointment or errand involving the courthouse.