Grady County's Courthouse Security

By: Sherea Harris
By: Sherea Harris

State and local officials in Georgia are responding to the deadly shootings at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta. Some say security changes in Grady County should have been in place years ago.

Grady County Sheriff Harry Young says even before the killings in Fulton County, courthouse security was a hot topic locally. Right now there's little security in place.

Jerome Smiley says, "In state court we had an officer at the doorway looking into purses but no hand monitor or nothing."

But with superior hearings starting next week including a murder trial, judges raised concern to sheriff's deputies about their safety.

Sheriff Harry Young says, "The main thing is we want to keep our judges and lawyers safe because any time someone goes to court they are already in a defensive mode."

Starting Monday, security is getting beefed up at the courthouse. A metal detector will be placed at the front entrance. There will be one main public entrance on the west side, a handicapped entrance on the north side and more officer presence.

Smiley says, "We are very serious about this. We don't want any guns or knives. We’re concerned about our citizens."

Kim Romine says, "All of them need metal detectors. It's good they got security, but they should of had it installed already."

Young adds, "It's something Grady County [has] needed for years. I'm surprised someone hasn't hurt someone up to this point."

Young says he hopes this will prevent such a deadly tragedy from happening here.

State lawmakers are looking at security in all government buildings in Georgia. One of the things they are considering is hiring inspectors to rate security in Georgia courthouses.


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