Make it safe for all
I read, with interest, the article in the April 21 Morgan Messenger concerning security procedures at the new courthouse. I agree with Chief Deputy Tony Link and Arthur Angus about the placement of the security control center in the new courthouse.
This security center must be located on the first floor to do any good in stopping unauthorized items entering the building. The metal detector and any other screening processes should be placed at the point of entry to the courthouse. The entrance should also be the only one for public access, whether people are entering or leaving the building. I would also suggest some sort of x-ray machine to screen briefcases and purses of people entering the building.
Employees should enter using their ID cards at designated doorways in the building. These doorways would have magnetic card readers and be used only by employees. I would also hope that surveillance cameras be placed throughout the building to monitor people’s behavior.
Mrs. Hutchinson should realize that times have changed. There have been school shootings and courthouse shootings throughout the country. There have been escape attempts by prisoners standing trial in several courthouses. There will be inmates from the Regional Jail being tried for various offenses and other arrestees going to trial. These are not the fine, outstanding citizens of Morgan County, but those that have no regard for the law.
Everything possible should be implemented to stop the introduction of contraband and weapons into the building. Yes, Mrs. Hutchinson, many people carry pocket knives in this community, but they really don’t have any business carrying them into a public building. My wife and I would feel safer knowing everything is being done to stop weapons from entering the building.
Mrs. Hutchinson, please let the professionals do their job and implement the needed security procedures they feel are needed to make our new courthouse a safer place for all citizens of Morgan County to conduct their business. Remember, the safety of the general public should not be ignored, since it is paramount in situations as these.