Strict Courthouse Policy in Geneva County

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

Area courtroom violence is prompting Geneva County leaders to rethink its security.

"In my opinion, it's not a question of if an incident will happen, but when it's going to happen," says Probate Judge Fred Hamic.

Geneva County leaders are looking at changing its security policy.

"From here on out we will have an officer in the courtroom where in the past we didn't," says Sheriff Greg Ward, Geneva Co. Sheriff's Office.

After some recent courtroom attacks across the country and some threats locally, leaders are reviewing the way you get into the building.

"We have been very proud to have provided public access for all the people who have come to the courthouse for any business they may have, not just business in the courts. We've been pleased to provide that free access all these years," says District Judge Charles Fleming, Jr.

There is already one metal detector in the courthouse.

The commission says it plans to add one more in the building, lock certain doors, and move some of the judicial chambers closer to the courtroom.

"This is just a new day and time where people live here in this area actually put a hit out on a circuit judge. It imposes things on us we really don't like to have, but we have to deal with them. That's what we're trying to do," says Fleming.

One problem the commission must overcome is creating adequate space for the proposed security changes.

Right now, the proposal is still in its early stages. No price tag has been given.

However, officials are looking into getting some assistance.

The county commission will have to approve the proposed changes to courthouse security before any new system is put in place.


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