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Adams County considers stricter courthouse security
The Adam County Board of Supervisors has a big decision on its hands. Does the Adams County Courthouse need more security?
That's what some local attorney's are asking for.
So what added security measures are the Board of Supervisors considering?
They're still in the preliminary stages and they aren't sharing all of the possibilities yet. But, one is making the front entrance the only entrance.
They would lock the east and west entrances and make everyone go through a security check right through the front doors.
"With only one entrance you could have people backed up waiting to get in. I don't think that's going to make people too happy," said Scott Thomsen, Adams County Board of Supervisors.
"Guns prohibited" signs posted on each entrance made one local attorney stop and think.
Mike Mead of Whelan and Scherr in Hastings says recent mass shootings like the one in Newtown are of growing concern. He's not the only area attorney that feels this way.
"There's nothing to prohibit somebody from coming in the courthouse with a gun," said Attorney Bob Parker.
Both Mead and Parker say that security at the Adams County Courthouse doesn't compare to the measures other larger counties take. Like Hall County for example.
"One door entry and of course they have good security that everybody goes through before they have access to any of the courtrooms or any of the people in the court house," Parker said.
Currently Adams County has three entrances; none have security measures.
The Adams County Sheriff's department is located at one entrance.
Sheriff's deputies constantly patrol the courthouse. The District Courtroom has a metal detector at the entrance. But, there's no special security at the other courtroom entrances.
"Courts sometimes get people upset, and when they're upset they tend to do irrational or scary things," said Parker.
"We think that the measures that we have in place make the courthouse secure, but again is it enough with the way the world is changing?" Thomsen said.
Thomsen says the board is discussing the issue with the sheriff's department and other parties involved. He said added security will also depend on what's cost effective for the county.
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