JANESVILLE - After months of construction and security upgrades, those visiting the Rock County Courthouse today will see its new configuration and security upgrades.
Officials say the changes, which started in December of 2018, will boost security and bring the courthouse up to modern standards in security.
Starting today, all visitors will be screened through metal detectors. Previously, those entering the courthouse only for legal services and court appearances were required to go through a metal detector. Those with steel toe boots or shoes will be asked to remove their footwear.
The public will now park in the front of the courthouse in both levels of the west parking structure.
Transit riders with a handicap will push a buzzer at the door by the bus stop and wait for a security escort. Employees will be required to park in the back east parking lot and underground parking structure. Signs will be posted to assist the public.
"We are all ready to go," said Facilities Management Director Brent Sutherland. "It went well and we didn't have any major delays and we were able to keep it on time."
Sutherland said the next step in shoring up the changes would be determining whether to arm security at the entrance. In February, Sutherland introduced a motion to the Rock County Board that was tabled after much discussion.
According to Sutherland, costs to arm the current private security firm, Global Security Group, would cost around $88,282 annually. To have additional deputies from the Rock County Sheriff's Office, who are already armed, would cost the county around $172,105.
Sutherland said the issue could come before the full Rock County Board at either the Nov. 14 or Dec. 12 meetings.