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Judge orders deputy to guard commissioners

November 19, 2012 News Extra

Butler County President Judge Thomas Doerr has issued an order to station indefinitely a deputy sheriff in the county commissioners’ offices.

Doerr said on Monday, “The atmosphere within the fifth floor (of the Butler County Government Center, where the commissioners’ offices are located) has become increasing volatile to the point where I believe it could potentially lead to a breach of the peace.”

Doerr said this opinion is based on information he gathered while reading reports related to the commissioners’ business in the Butler Eagle, seeing the public meetings that are broadcast and hearing from court house personnel.

“The commissioners, the staff and potentially the public have become confrontational. I honestly believe someone could lose their temper and become violent,” Doerr said.

“Not that it will happen, but there is that potential. And I believe its my obligation, that if I believe that could happen, to take active steps to make sure it does not happen.”

By state law, a county’s president judge is responsible for security in the court house.

Doerr said he did not meet with the commissioners prior to making this decision.

Doerr, who notes his order is to “be implemented as soon as practical,” said it’s likely the deputy will take the new station no earlier than Monday.

He said it is hoped that the deputy will have access to a computer to do paperwork while in the commissioners’ office.