Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband walks through one of the new Garrett Pin Point Detection portable metal detectors to show how it works.
The metal detector not only alerts security personal of a potentially dangerous metal object as small as a coin, red lights on the edges of the unit show where it is located on a person as they walk through the unit.
The metal detectors were purchased while on sale, which allowed the county to buy two units for the price of one, with funds from the recent courthouse security grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
The walk-through metal detector is expected to be placed in the courthouse within the week, according to Husband, who said the other unit will be put together before the end of the month.
By IVY HERRON
Clay County is better prepared in case of an emergency situation thanks to two grants totaling more than $41,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband says it's only a matter time before a large emergency happens in our area.
"We're preparing for the future," Husband said. "We need to prepare for both natural and man-made disasters."
Security at the Clay County Courthouse is being enhanced by the new funding. Additional cameras and accessory hardware, upgrades to the emergency response system, four metal detectors (two hand-held and two portable walk-through) and two 800 MHz radios were purchased for courthouse use.
Ten laptop computers with Bluetooth wireless capability will be distributed to county agencies for use in an emergency situation, including the sheriff's department, highway department, 911 director, surveyor, information and technology director and the emergency management office among others.
A portion of the grant money is being used to create global mapping information, which provides detailed images -- including details as small as where road signs, creeks and bridges are located -- of the county.
"In an emergency these people need to have information at their fingertips," he said.
Emergency planning is not limited to events only in Clay County or only for emergency situations, according to Husband.
"(Clay County is) located in the middle of several large cities -- if something goes wrong in Indianapolis, the people have to go somewhere -- we need to be ready for that," he said. "We also have to prepare for non-emergency events that stretch our resources."
The purchase of a Salamander Rapid Tag system will allow the county to create a quick identification system using a driver's license information for emergency response personnel, volunteers or as identification for evacuees.
Husband says the mobility of the equipment purchased with the grant money makes it all the more valuable to county preparedness.
"This multi-use equipment can be taken anywhere in the county, anywhere security needs tightened," he said. "We'll have it when we need it, but hopefully we won't have to use it all the time."