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home : local news : local news May 26, 2016

3/1/2013 1:12:00 PM
Courthouse security changes begin Monday
New guards at the Crawford County Courthouse practice using the metal detector today. Starting Monday the west, handicap-accessible, entrance will be the only one open. (Graham Milldrum photo)
New guards at the Crawford County Courthouse practice using the metal detector today. Starting Monday the west, handicap-accessible, entrance will be the only one open. (Graham Milldrum photo)
On Monday, security will increase at the Crawford County Courthouse. New guards will staff the freshly installed metal detector and most entrances will close.

It's part of a program started to increase security in response to a rising concern about violence in courthouses.

The only way to enter will be the west side, which is the handicap-accessible entryway facing Antiques on the Square. Everyone entering the building will have to go through a metal detector installed in the basement.

There, a guard will ensure no one is bringing weapons or forbidden items into the courthouse, said Fred Chinn, jail administrator. His job includes managing the courthouse security guards.

The guards there will wear a radio and earbud that allows them to communicate with the other staff, he said.

Cell phones will have to be left in vehicles, Chinn said. The devices are not allowed in the courthouse anyway, he said, and he does not want to be responsible for them.

One issue they expect is reminding men to leave their pocketknives behind, he said. As a knife they are considered a weapon and not allowed inside.

Chief Deputy Doug Slater said the expansion has been delayed, but moved quickly once it started.

The guards will have to take a 40-hour firearms safety class before they are allowed to carry a weapon at the detector.







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