The Jackson County Courthouse Security Committee is holding a meeting next Monday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. The public will not be allowed to attend the meeting.
This meeting comes after a shooting occurred at the courthouse last Wednesday. Fred Swearengin, 72 of the Letcher community, was shot by courthouse security. At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Swearengin walked into the Jackson County Courthouse armed with a handgun on his side. After being refused entry by courthouse security deputies, Swearengin drew his weapon and was shot.
Jackson County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey said there is not an active shooter procedure in place at the courthouse, and the committee would meet to discuss putting one in place.
At its wok session last Monday, the commission discussed some additions to the Jackson County Courthouse Security Plan, mainly pertaining to Emergency Management Agency (EMA) employees.
Guffey proposed adding an item to the plan that read, “EMA entrance door will be kept as an emergency exit for citizens. EMA employees will be able to enter and exit from this door but will not be allowed to let others access.”
Guffey proposed the addition because EMA employees park beside the door near their office, walk in the main door and have to go all the way down to their office in the basement.
County Attorney John Porter said the commission cannot change the courthouse security plan but could pass a resolution allowing EMA employees to use that door as an entrance and exit. He also said the commission could recommend the change to the courthouse security committee.
Guffey said after the incident on Wednesday, everyone will enter and exit through security at the North entrance of the courthouse.