Green Country commissioners decide not to give police entry to courthouse

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Updated: 9/13/2013 11:17 pm Published: 9/13/2013 11:15 pm

Fox23 has learned the Rogers County Sheriff's Office wanted Claremore police to have key card access to the courthouse so they could quickly respond to an emergency. But the County Commissioners said no.

"When they come out, by then there will be plenty of law enforcement around here at those exits. If you are going to shoot them, shoot them outside don't mess it up in here," said Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker during
Monday's County Commission meeting.

This is the comment during that meeting, posted on Youtube by the Claremore Daily Progress, that is alarming law enforcement in the county.

"It's a blend of ignorance and politics put together that jeopardizes public safety," said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.

He told FOX23's Dontaye Carter the Sheriff’s Office was requesting Claremore police have access to the courthouse at all times. It was brought up after a cleaning crew set off the alarm inside and police didn't have access after hours. Walton fears if an active shooter is in the building police may not be able to reach certain areas because of access.

"I hope nobody has to have that visualization that law enforcement waits outside and listens to gunshots of innocent people losing their lives inside a building while we wait patiently for an active shooter to come out a building," Walton told FOX23.

Commissioners voted down the request two to one. Despite the Sheriff’s Office being located in the courthouse, Walton says police would be the first to respond because they're only two blocks away and most deputies are working out in the county.

FOX23 reached Thacker by phone to ask him about those comments.

"You said when they come outside you can shoot them outside instead of messing up the courthouse?" said Carter.
"Yeah it was a dumb comment. What else can I say?" Thacker responded.

He said his response was from the frustration surrounding the political climate in Rogers Count between the district attorney’s office and law enforcement.

"I question the timing more than anything else," he said.

Thacker is also one of the people listed in a petition, by different law enforcement agencies, asking for the state to investigate the district attorney in Rogers County.

Thacker says Monday commissioners will vote on whether to give the cleaning crew key-card access. He says he would be interested in revisiting the issue with Claremore police getting key cards at a later date.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 9/15/2013 10:39 AM
1 Vote
"a cleaning crew set off the alarm inside and police didn't have access after hours" They didnt think to ask the cleaning crew to let them in, or even knock on the door or windows to get their attention? If they are that stupid no wonder the commissioners dont want to give them free reign.

Unwashed Mass - 9/15/2013 10:35 AM
1 Vote
Thatcker's remarks were sarcasm, taken out of context, but the police and sheriff have an agenda that requires a lot of distortion and half-truths.

karlschneider - 9/15/2013 8:43 AM
0 Votes
No wonder they call us Okies...

Mayor Maynot - 9/14/2013 11:38 AM
0 Votes
When the door isn't open on the court, is it fair?

Unwashed Mass - 9/14/2013 12:33 AM
2 Votes
If there really were an active shooter in the courthouse, do you think poolice will wait outside or break a window? Come on Walton, get real.
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