New Guard for Potter County Courthouse

When you walk into the Potter County Courthouse, there are metal detectors for security purposes. Starting next month, a security officer will also guard the front door and hallways of the building.

Three months ago, Joshua Duane Barnes escaped from the courthouse, leaving in question the level of security at the facility.

"[Barnes] managed to get downstairs and escape," said Potter County Sheriff Ronald Boyter. "There was really nobody downstairs to stop him."

That won't be the case anymore. Boyter says the need for additional security will prevent incidents, like Barnes' escape, and make the building safer for everyone.

"When you go to the courthouse, you never know what is going to happen. It's long overdue and I think they made the right decision," said Jerry Miner, an Amarillo resident.

Other security upgrades include improvements to the entrance and security doors. The Sheriff's Department also hopes to add another security officer by next year.

The entire project will be paid by the Courthouse Security Fund.