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On the heels of an incident where a man shot and killed himself just A few feet from a courtroom window, Perry County Judge Lucy Goffinet approached the Perry County council to fund a full-time sheriff’s deputy in the courthouse.

51-year old Michael Sims of Cannelton, shot himself last week outside the courthouse. The ensuing panic prompted several courthouse offices to put their own emergency plans in place. Some ran to the nearby detention center while others hid.

Police with pistols drawn and rifles in hand entered the courthouse and accounted for all those inside. No one else was injured.

Goffinet says she she met with Sheriff Alan Malone, County Commissioner Randy Kleaving, and Emergency Management Agency Director Steve Hauser to discuss what courthouse security counties of similar size were equipped with. She says the bare minimum exceeded Perry County’s security protocols “completely.”

Goffinet, joined by Kleaving, outlined her intention to have a full-time deputy at the courthouse, with full arrest powers, a car and all of the necessary equipment.

Kleaving says it would be a new officer.

Malone says it could be a deterrent to those up to no good if it were sitting in front of the courthouse, where he intends for it to be parked. Another reason mentioned by Goffinet was the arresting powers would require the officer have a car so the full-time officer could transport suspects.

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