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March 25, 2014

Sheriff gains control of courthouse security

CLAREMORE —

The Rogers County Commissioners office ceded control of courthouse security to the sheriff’s office Monday after a series of meetings.
The debate began months ago and concluded with a unanimous vote in the commissioners meeting.
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton and his staff will oversee the electronic key cards and master keys to the building.
“We are going to give this to the sheriff and he will coordinate with the human resource department,” said commissioner Dan DeLozier.
Judges Dwayne Steidley and Judge Dynda Post urged the board to turn over the responsibility, permitting the sheriff to perform his duties under the law.
The judges disputed the role of the human resource department in the administration of the key cards.
Judge Steidley sent a letter to the board prior to the meeting outlining his concerns.
“I think my letter makes it very clear it is his job and nobody else’s,” said Judge Steidley. “It is real important to us, this day and age things are changing… Let’s do everything we can.”
“I really think we have to define what security means. Security is the key cards,” said Judge Post. “If they do not control the key cards they do not control security. I do not believe it is a human resource function.”
“Emotions run high and we have been fortunate not to have a major event here,” said Judge Steidley.
Walton provided the board with examples of safety issues with the key cards claiming they have not been managed properly. To me the key cards are an issue of security to me, Steidley said.
Human Resource Director Jenny Bentley disputed her responsibility as the administrator of the key card system.
“I have nothing to do with the security of the courthouse,” Bentley said. “I was obligated with the key cards.”

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