Commissioners Court last month took steps that it hopes will improve security in and around the courthouse complex and other county buildings.
Commissioners approved transferring oversight of the contractor in charge of courthouse security, Weiser Security, from Facilities and Property Management to the Precinct One Constable’s Office in the coming months.
The court also authorized hiring five deputies and two constable clerks to the Precinct One team currently providing security at the courthouse complex.
District Clerk Chris Daniel said he is pleased that Commissioners Court is beefing up security.
“It’s definitely a move that we approve of. We’ll be monitoring to see if any other steps are needed,” Daniel said. “Our first priority is the safety of our employees.”
In addition to the seven new positions, the constable’s office transferred two deputies to bicycle patrol duty at the complex.
The District Clerk’s Office was among the county agencies that urged Commissioners Court to improve security after a number of county employees and others were assaulted or groped in the area around the courthouse complex during the past six months.
DCO staffers and other county employees can cross paths with court-bound criminal defendants, just released jail inmates and homeless people, some of whom have stopped taking prescribed psychiatric medication.
In a letter to Commissioners Court, Precinct One Constable Alan Rosen wrote, “I am requesting these positions to help support and protect the downtown courthouse complex.”
Commissioners Court hopes that security will improve by transferring oversight of Weiser Security from Facilities and Property Management, a civilian, non-law enforcement department, to a law enforcement agency, the Precinct One Constable’s Office.
The constable’s office will have oversight of security at these buildings and areas during the daytime:
· The courthouses in the courthouse complex
· The county garage at 1401 Congress (the one behind the Civil Courthouse where many DCO employees park)
· The Anderson Clayton Building
· The county Administration Building
· The county tunnels
· Congress Plaza (the building where the County Attorney’s Office is located)
· The Precinct One Constable’s Office and Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, Place 2 building at 1302 Preston
· A county probation office at 49 San Jacinto
· A county probation office at 9111 Eastex Freeway
· The old Gulf station at 1101 Franklin
· The Justice of the Peace Precinct 7, Place 1 office at 5747 Cullen