Bartholomew County to add officers to courthouse

Bartholomew County Council has reached an agreement with the sheriff’s department to increase security at the county courthouse.

The county council approved a request of $184,627 at this week’s meeting to add three new courthouse security personnel to the officers at the facility. Sheriff Chris Lane said that would include a supervisor for a total security staff of six.

The total amount includes about $103,000 for the three new officers’ salaries, coming from the sheriff’s department budget, while the rest is for benefits and will come out of the county commissioners budget. The approval only funds the new staff through the end of the year, and the sheriff will bring the new staff back to the council for approval during the annual budget process, at a cost of about $110,000 a year per officer for pay and benefits, Lane said.

Council member Mark Gorbett, who previously served as sheriff, praised the cooperation of the courts and sheriff’s department to increase the security staff, including Judge Jon Rohde for giving up a position in his office to increase security staffing.

The original plan was to hire the new staff by the start of July, but because it will take time to get those officers onboard the spending this year is expected to be less than approved, Lane said.