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Courthouse Security Officer Amber Powers shows commissioner Terry Cutright, commission president Kristie Tenney, Dave Coffman, supervisor of courthouse security Jim Vance and chief deputy Mike Coffman how clear the image is on the X-ray machine.

County unveils X-ray machine installed to bolster security at courthouse annex

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission on Thursday unveiled a new X-ray machine at the entrance of the Upshur County Courthouse Annex.

The new machine was set up at the courthouse annex where the general public enters the courthouse about a week prior, and it will be used to examine bags and purses for prohibited items such as knives or guns.

Mike Coffman – the chief deputy of law enforcement for the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department and vice chair of the Courthouse Security Advisory Board – said the machine has helped people get through security faster.

“I think it’s been working; our security officers have told us it’s really smooth and working well,” Coffman said. “They can see inside the items, which saves them from hand-searching all the bags that come through.”

The X-ray machine is capable of capturing still shots and zooming in, but if officers need to take a closer look, they may need to search the bag by hand.

“It’s working really smoothly. It has things going a little faster, so they don’t have to stop everybody – it’s a win-win for the security, the employees and the public, and this is all paid for with grant money,” Coffman said. “I think this accomplishes the goal that we set out to do. It’s taken three years, I think, to get it accomplished and it has been worth it. The times we’re in today make it a valuable tool.”

The X-ray machine was the last item on a list of other security upgrades the courthouse has implemented over three years.

“It’s a great feeling. It completes our goal and what we’ve been working on for so long, and I think it’s a win-win for the employees and the public makes because it makes everything go faster and it’s less invasive with less touching,” Coffman said.

Coffman also wanted to thank everyone who has business at the courthouse for being patient with all the security changes.

“I just want to thank the public for being patient with us, going through and learning while we’re getting everything set up,” Coffman said. “We really appreciate the public, and we haven’t had any complaints from people coming through. I think people expect that now with the times we’re living in.”

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