GREENVILLE — The Supreme Court of Ohio announced $3.2 million in technology grants to local courts, including Darke County last week.
According to the grand award agreement, the Darke County Court of Common Pleas, General and Domestic Relations Division, will receive $36,814.06 for the completion of the security-related systems project at the courthouse.
As previously reported, security improvements to the courthouse have been on the to-do list for several years, including a new entryway, a 1,000-square-foot annex at the rear of the building. The latter will incorporate security personnel and security technology and fitted with bulletproof glass and a holding cell.
Part of the security project included the installation of 48 cameras inside the courthouse and seven on the exterior.
Arcon Builders, Mote & Associates, and Northwest Ohio Security Systems are tied to the project at a total cost of $124,286.56 with the technology grant monies designated for equipment only. In this case, for the installation of a walkthrough security machine and an x-ray machine to screen individuals and even packages.
“Always great news to have outside funding support local projects,” said Darke County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein. He reiterated the necessity of security as not only a benefit to court staff and employees but anyone who may be within the courthouse from a court defendant to someone purchasing dog tags.
Further, Judge Hein cited the Supreme Court recognized the inefficiency at the courthouse the prior year when the county first applied for the grant, which at the time was denied.
“It took another year for funding to catch up,” continued Judge Hein.
Each year, the Supreme Court of Ohio offers grants to assist state courts with not only security improvements but case management system (CMS) upgrades.
For the 2020 Technology Grant Fund, neighboring Miami County Court of Common Pleas received $74,703 to upgrade the existing CMS. Such improvements aids in case flow with upgrades to computer hardware or software, or the purchase of tech that supports pretrial services.