The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

County Backs Active Shooter Training


The national statistics keep climbing. Historically safe spaces are redefined as "soft targets." Victims range from school children to court officials.

Cheyenne County officials want to prevent the courthouse from being on that list. Courthouse security officer Ron Kissler and Cheyenne County Sheriff John Jenson met with the county commissioners Monday to discuss providing an active shooter training program for county staff.

"We're blessed here," Kissler said. "We have a fairly hard target, meaning we have armed people in the building."

Kissler said the concept might be viewed as controversial.

"This in the best interest of our employees. It shouldn't be controversial," said commissioner Randal Miller.

Kissler said the concern is the number of courthouse shootings nationally - more than 200 in the past six years - and if Cheyenne County is prepared for such an incident.

Kissler said the program would be provided by the Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (NIRMA). The only cost to the county will be the 2 ½ hours for staff to attend the training.

"We want to be as prepared as we can be," he said.

The program will be co-directed by Kissler and Sheriff John Jenson.

"We have to stay as current as we can," Kissler said.

Later Monday, Jenson said the training is just an update of security plans.

The training will be mandatory for county staff. Date of the training was not announced.

In other business, the commissioners approved renewing an agreement with the American Red Cross for storage at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds, and to use the fairgrounds as a staging area if an incident becomes urgent enough.

The commissioners also approved change orders on the remodeling project at 921 Hickory St. Commissioner Randal Miller said the change orders are a result of moving a wall and discovering an electricity service. The change order is for an increase of $495 for Tait's Electric and $250 for Dick's Flooring.


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