–The Kossuth County Board of Supervisors discussed the current state of security at the courthouse during their meeting on Tuesday. Sheriff Roger Fisher addressed the board, and said the security measures in place at the courthouse,and in particular on the 3rd floor where court offices are located, can be described as relaxed at best.
District Court Judge John Sandy also spoke to the board about security practices in place at other courthouses around the district. He says many counties have an officer in uniform that is placed in the courtroom each day court is in session.
Currently Kossuth County does not have a law enforcement presence during regular court proceedings during the week, but they do have security in place during a trial. Sandy says some of the courthouses he works in have secured access to court areas, so no one without an access card can just come in unimpeded.
Sandy says that things like murder trials bring attention, but often times tensions are much higher during a matter being handled in family court. He referenced a case from July of 2021, that ended with two Algona children being shot and killed by their father before he took his own life.
As a starting point, the Supervisors have instructed the county’s IT Department to conduct an inventory of how many doors and offices would need secure access on the 3rd floor of the courthouse. State Law prohibits people from carrying firearms in court-controlled areas, making it illegal to carry one on the 3rd floor at this time. Under state law, the Board of Supervisors does have the authority to prohibit members of the public from carrying firearms in all county owned facilities.