Second District County Commissioner Mike Schatz

The county is moving forward with a plan to make its judicial center more secure.

County Commissioner Mike Schatz spearheaded the plan to put in three poles in front of the judicial center in Union.

The steel poles, which will be filled with concrete, could stop a vehicle from crashing through the front of the downtown Union facility, Schatz noted.

The project is expected to cost about $1,500.

The judicial center is vulnerable to such vehicular entry, he said. There is concern that security workers stationed inside the building could be put at risk if a vehicle crashed through the facility.

Now is the best time to install the poles because the sidewalks around the judicial center are being replaced as part of a city of Union project. This way, the sidewalks will already be torn up to put the poles in place, Schatz noted.

Schatz said a deputy U.S. marshal conducted a protective survey on the judicial center a couple of years ago and pointed out the safety deficiency at the time.

The poles will be about 4 feet tall and 6 inches in diameter.

To hold down costs, Schatz said the county plans use its own maintenance staff to install the poles. The county is trying to negotiate with the contractor on the city project to dig the holes for the poles.