The Wapello County Courthouse opened back up to the public on June 1st with a new safety measure in place.
Wapello County Sheriff Don Phillips says since last year, a new panic alarm system needed to be installed because of the flaws in the previous system.
“When conducting monthly tests on the system it was discovered that essential components were malfunctioning, ultimately causing the system to be unreliable.”
Phillips says the Wapello County Safety Committee was also concerned with the limited amount of places in the courthouse that possessed equipment to sound the alarm.
Phillips says the new panic alarm system provides each individual office in the courthouse to activate the alarm. The signal is sent much quicker to the sheriff’s office than the previous alarm, according to Phillips, which leads to faster response time.
The new system was going to be a heavy financial burden for taxpayers, Phillips says, but the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation awarded Wapello County with a $10,000 grant which helped cover some of the costs of the panic alarm system.
Phillips says Wapello County officials are grateful for the Legacy Foundation’s contribution. With the new panic alarm system, the Sheriff believes it creates a safer environment for courthouse staff and visitors.