Cherokee County Court deciding how to reopen safety

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ks. — Covid-19 numbers are improving, and employees are beginning to return to their offices – but that doesn’t mean those offices are opening up to the public.

This is the case for the Cherokee County District Court. It’s been a major source of frustration for people and leaders in the county. At Monday’s county commission meeting, they wanted to find a way to help open up once again.

Raven Elmore, Cherokee County Treasurer, said, “A lot of people are coming in frustrated because they can’t get into district court.”

After a year in a worldwide pandemic, people in Cherokee County are still having an issue getting into the district court.

“They will speak to you but the door is locked and I think that’s most of the frustration with them, with commissioners, with us down here on this floor, people who come in here to pay fines, get marriage licenses, they’re just frustrated.”

Sometimes there’s even an issue with connecting to the court. Many offices in the courthouse often find themselves on the receiving end.

“Basically I keep telling them to keep calling back, just keep calling back and somebody will get to you, when they come in the office, we tell them to go on up and knock on the door, they said there’s a sign up there with instructions on how to get to them.”

Creating a difficult situation for many people.

“Stimulus checks and tax returns, our volume of work has increased tremendously and now with the call logs coming from district court and the complaints coming down, it just adds to it.”

A lot of what’s standing in the way isn’t the county, but actually the supreme court.

“They said they’re mandated by the Supreme Court to clean and have security, which down here we’re county ran so we clean for ourselves.”

But Cherokee County is willing to help. They’re willing to move security to the court in the event of dangerous clients. Since its still the same building, security is only a phone call away.

“We just call security to come help us, if it was down here, if we had an unruly tax payer or something.”

Helping the public as they continue on through the pandemic.

“After the conversation we had in the commissioners meeting, they know our frustrations, I hope now we can move forward and help everyone out.”

The security in the Cherokee County Courthouse is provided through the sheriff’s department. So officials will need to discuss with them in order to rearrange the officer in the courthouse.

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