Placer County grand jury: Better security for Auburn courthouse, Lincoln Police

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The Placer County grand jury is calling for better security at the Placer County Courthouse and Lincoln Police facilities. The Lincoln Police facility didn’t fare well, with the grand jury reporting “essential security measures” lacking for detention of arrestees, securing of officers’ weapons and police operations. The jury is recommending secure fencing at the substation parking lot, providing secure lockers for officers’ weapons before entering the holding area, and installation of security cameras in the prisoner holding area. The grand jury made several other law-enforcement facility inspections, including Auburn’s Placer County Courthouse holding facility. The courthouse was completed in 1898 and renovated in 1994. Ongoing efforts to maintain the building as a historical landmark present a challenge in meeting security needs, the report said. Recommended in the report is installation of additional closed-circuit cameras to monitor the sally port, stairwell, holding area and Placer County Courthouse courtrooms. The grand jury visited and inspected the nearby Auburn Police Department facility and commended it for its “seamless service.” “This includes the maintenance and operation of the holding facility, as well as addressing budget cuts by applying for appropriate grant monies,” the report states. While criticism of the way the Placer County Board of Supervisors handles its $100,000 revenue-sharing fund pot and praise to cities for lowering manager salaries highlight this year’s final grand jury report, the panel has also weighed in on several other areas of local government. Also included in the report by the 19-member panel was an examination how the property held in possession of Placer County law enforcement is maintained. The grand jury reported that agencies use either a manual or barcode system to track and maintain property and preserve evidence records. It is recommending that Auburn and Rocklin police departments, the sheriff’s department and Placer County Jail do a cost-benefit analysis for converting their property and evidence rooms to computerized barcoding systems. Barcoding is less time-consuming and time-consuming as the manual approach, the grand jury says. Roseville and Lincoln police already have barcoding in place, the report states. In a report issued last week, the grand jury also looked at volunteerism in government and found that volunteer programs were being used by about half of the county’s agencies and cities. “City budgets can be assisted through the use of volunteers as illustrated by Roseville’s estimated $500,000 and Lincoln’s $260,000-plus yearly savings,” the grand jury report says. The jury is recommending that agencies actively consider or expand the use of volunteers where practical to provide services in communities and help bridge budget constraints. – Gus Thomson