COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - If you tried to enter the East Wing of the Government Center, you may have noticed the doors were locked. Due to recent budget restructuring the Sheriff's Department is asking all citizens to go through the security point at the main entrance.
"We want people coming through the main entrance there, have a heavy security presence there and streamline the process," explained Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr.
Darr says the reasoning behind the change boils down to money, "We were asked during the budget process to cut our budget by a significant amount of money and this is just one of the ways to save a good bit of money."
Sheriff Darr says the security post in the East Wing costs an estimated $150,000 per year to operate. By closing the doors he is saving money on over time for the bailiffs, plus security is increased throughout the building, "This is a temporary thing we have put in place now in case it needs to be permanent. We also want the equipment in case we need the flexibility to open back up."
In the meantime, signs are posted and security officers are available to help with the transition.
"I know it's a bit of an inconvenience right now but sometimes you have to pay a bit of inconvenience for the betterment of the security of the Government Center," Darr added.
Like Sheriff Darr mentioned, this could be a temporary closing. If more money shows up in the coming budgets, the doors could re-open.