East Tennessee county to boost courthouse security

By  | 

CLINTON (WVLT) -- In light of Thursday’s shooting in Kirkwood, Missouri’s city hall, at least one East Tennessee county is forming plans to boost its own building security.

Up until now, if you walked into the Anderson County courthouse, you could go through four different entrances without passing through a metal detector.

That’s something the courthouse’s security committee wants to change.

On Friday they held an emergency meeting in order to review plans that would keep people inside the courthouse a lot safer.

"We've got a building that's 40 years old and it was designed without security issues like we have today," said Myron Iwanski, chairman of the Anderson County Commission.

The Anderson County Courthouse Security Committee agreed that it is now time to change the building's old ways.

“Right now we have four entrances, four exits and no security at those check points,” said Alan Beauchamp, Anderson County’s Director of Buildings & Grants. “We have a secure check point on the third floor, but we want to secure the whole courthouse."

“In light of things that go on today, it would be good to have a way to know that we have people coming into the courtroom or into the commission's room that have been through a screening process," said Iwanski.

The blueprints are in, but the committee has a lot to consider before deciding how and where they'll place the metal detectors.

"What would be the best way to do that, which entrance, which exit, what do we utilize?” Beauchamp said.

"We are trying to configure the space and the entryways to allow for security purposes,” said Iwanski. “To meet the other needs is kind of what we're struggling with."

On a busy day, more than a thousand people walk through the metal detectors on the third floor alone.

During the meeting, the committee decided they'll have to make some modifications to the original blue print to make more room.

The courthouse will undergo some major renovations that will cost tax payers thousands of dollars.

"You have public convenience weighed against public security, and no matter what we do, we're going to have some cost," said Beauchamp, who also believes you can’t put a price on security.
"The world has changed, 9/11 changed the world, so we're trying to secure it to make everybody safe."

The committee will present its proposal to county commission on Monday, and courthouse construction for the metal detectors could begin as soon as this summer.

You can see the blue print by clicking on the .PDF file at the top of the page.

Related Documents
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus