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Changes improve courthouse
Ever since he arrived in Williams Lake seven years ago, BC Sheriff Service Staff Sgt. Dave Olson has lobbied for a sally port at the courthouse.
Last month his wish was granted.
On Sept. 6, sheriffs began transporting prisoners to appear in court, by driving them into the sally port, taking them in the building and up the stairwell to the courtroom.
“I believe in dignity for everyone,” Olson said. “Before we were transporting prisoners through the main lobby of the building and taking them upstairs on the elevator.”
In some ways he felt like they were parading prisoners, and sometimes, children and spouses were waiting to see the prisoner, and that’s not allowed either.
Olson received approval for the sally port in March and Lauren Brothers Construction Ltd. of Williams Lake began building it at the end of May.
Standing inside the sally port with Olson Friday morning, deputy sheriff Charles Stasiuk said it’s also nice because they are protected from the weather.
“It’s ice-free in here,” he said.
Olson said the construction design allows the light in, but also promotes privacy.
Next on Olson’s wish list is a room on the fourth floor of the courthouse for prisoners to wait until they are needed in the courtroom.
“I’ve got six years for that too,” he said smiling.
He will be due to retire by then.