MOUNT CARROLL – A 2-year project to beef up security at the historic Carroll County Courthouse is complete.
As at most other courthouses in the region, visitors now must enter through just one door and walk through a metal detector. The entrance is on the west side of the building facing Main Street. Other entrances now are locked, Sheriff Ryan Kloepping said.
The general public is not allowed to bring weapons, cellphones, cameras, electronics, marijuana, food and beverages into the building, although some exceptions will be made.
“Some people have to take water with their medications,” Kloepping said.
Also, the media is allowed cellphones, cameras and other electronics when covering some cases.
In addition, the security camera system was upgraded and alarms were added to all exterior doors.
The county treasurer’s office was moved to a new spot so the lobby could be expanded, and the veterans assistance office, previously was accessible only from an outside entrance, now can be reached from inside the courthouse.
A second handicap parking space also was created; both spaces are on the south end of the parking lot. A sidewalk for those physically disabled also has been added; it takes visitors to an entrance for the disabled.
The renovations, finished Feb. 10, took about 2 years and $30,000 to complete. The courthouse, in continuous use since its construction in 1858, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The courthouse is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After hours, the sheriff’s office and the jail can be accessed from the parking lot on the east side of the building.
Call the sheriff’s office at 815-244-2635 for more information.