Thursday, June 12, 2008


Elyria – If you happened to be driving through downtown Elyria Thursday afternoon and wondered why there were so many people in Ely Square and roads were blocked off around the Justice Center – Not to worry, it was just a safety drill.

Tom Kelley, Director of Lorain County Emergency Management and Homeland Security said that today’s drill was just one part of an ongoing effort to ensure safety in all County buildings. “Today’s drill was organized between our office, the Elyria Fire Department, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and the County Safety and Risk Office. Last month we met with every employee in the Justice Center for 30 minutes and went over safety and evacuation plans for the building.”

Kelley said that the drill was triggered, not by a fire alarm, but a telephone alert system through his office. “We wanted something distinct for this type of evacuation so we utilized the telephone alert system and it worked out very well today.”

The way it worked:
Once the telephone alert system sounded all employees evacuated the Justice Center and headed for their designated spot inside of Ely Square. Once everyone was in the Square each Department Head did a roll call to make sure their people were all accounted for. The Department Head then headed to the Command Post to report in either that all of their people were accounted for or that they had people missing.

Kelley said that with the Department Heads reporting into the Command Post letting Officials know if everyone is accounted for or not saves time searching the building unnecessarily.

The building’s Safety Committee is headed up by Lorain County Judge Mark Betleski and they will meet next month to review today’s drill and to get ready for the next building. Next up is the County
Administration Building at 226 Middle Ave.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good idea! I am glad to see them being pro-active in ensuring the safety of the employees. Patsy

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... at the court house is a joke. They have two or 3 armed deputies at the metal detectors who only screen a select group of people. All employees, judges, and lawyers don't even have to get screened.

Violent defendants that have made bond are running around the court house as they please unchecked milling with victims and witnesses.

Police Officers who are in uniform are disarmed at the front doors because the Sheriff doesn't have the courage to make the decision to keep them armed for theirs and your safety.

The Ohio Supreme Court was called in to do a complete security study to see how well or bad the court house securities was and guess what....It failed. The Supreme Court made several recommendations, but none of them have been enacted.

You are not safe at the court house so don't think you are.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly are these fire drills for, other than a fire drill? And why did they just now start? I remember practicing these fire drills decades ago in school.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ensuring the safety of lawyers. Is that really a good idea?

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, the was no "Pass or fail" on the supreme court findings - only recommendations which are being implemented by a safety committee of building employees and county officials as funding permits.

ALL visitors, regardless of who they are, will be screened at the entrance when the new x-ray machines arrive. All employees will be required to wear identification badges, regardless of who they are.

The guns were removed by the judges from their courtrooms by judicial order - the Sheriff had no say-so in the matter. Discussion over the gun issue continues between law enforcement and the courts.

These drills and the update of the emergency plan were part of the recommendations in the supreme court paper, although that process was started before the paper came out.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say what you will, I have read the report. In fact, the Judges initially refused to give the report to the Chief's Association saying that it was not public record.

The Judges NEVER gave any such order. The man in charge of the Court House Security is the Sheriff and the Sheriff only.

You keep dreaming that everyone will be screened going into the court house. There is no way that will ever happen. They only have two Deputies at the front door. I have seen 20-30 people waiting in line trying to get in. What are they going to do if say 10 of them just say hell with it and walk through? Or if 1 of them comes armed and just runs through? The answer is NOTHING because there is not enough Deputies to take immediate action and all the police officers are unarmed.

Court House Security is a JOKE and no one is safe in the building except for the judges who can run and hide out the door behind their bench......

8:07 PM  

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