I have always had a problem with requiring law-abiding residents to pass through a metal detector before they pay their taxes or register to vote. Naturally, those who were gung ho to take such steps ignored me and instituted them anyway.
The metal detectors were taken out after the cost of operating them became too great.
As The Carthage Press reported in its Saturday edition, security is back at the courthouse, thanks to the law enforcement sales tax, but with a new approach that is much better.
Now, the metal detectors will be limited to the third floor where court hearings and trials are held. That had always been the major concern anyway. And even though I still am not a supporter of the metal detectors, this does seem to be a reasonable compromise which will serve to protect the judges, court employees, and those who do business no that floor for one reason or another:
(Jasper County Sheriff Archie) Dunn's approach to security is a little different this time around, concentrating on the third floor but not forgoing security on the other levels.
"We have a pool of four people and we'll rotate them periodically to get used to the courthouses, which helps them overall do a better job," he said.
Also, the deputies will be carrying portable radios that are tuned into the panic buttons in various offices. The deputies will instantly pickup of a recorded message that locates where the disturbance or situation is occurring, which also is sent to dispatch.
Dunn said on the first floor the south door will be open but not any of the others until business hours as employees arrive for the day. "It helps secure the building early," he said.