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County official says no security changes planned

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

No final decision has been made but remarks by some county officials indicate no added security measures are planned at the Platte County Courthouse despite a recent suicide in the building.

“At this time we’re not looking at a change in security,” said Tom Pryor, first district commissioner. “The final report is not in from the sheriff’s department about our security measures. It seems impractical to be able to secure the entire building and also cost prohibitive.”

According to Captain Frank Hunter, sheriff’s department public information officer, the next step regarding security is for Sheriff Richard Anderson to meet with Platte County Circuit Court Judge Lee Hull to discuss any security recommendations.

“We haven’t made any changes so far to security measures,” said Hunter.

According to a representative in Judge Hull’s office, there has been no meeting thus far and none has been scheduled to her knowledge.

Concerns about security were raised after the suicide of court reporter Terry Easton, 50, of Parkville, in a first floor jury deliberation bathroom using a gun he brought into the courthouse that day. A cleaning crew found Easton’s body in the bathroom on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Extra ammunition belonging to Easton--sources say up to 100 rounds--was found in the bathroom along with the body.

Employees are not screened at the courthouse; only the public is screened at the front entrance to the building. The courthouse has multiple employee entrances currently in use.

There is no public screening system in place at the adjoining Platte County Administration Building.

Some officials have expressed that securing the building would be difficult because many officials have access to the building at times throughout the day and night, and there are several potential entry points into the courthouse.

Presiding commissioner Betty Knight has indicated to The Landmark that officials--including the sheriff and Judge Hull--are still expected to meet at some point to discuss the topic.


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