(10/16/12) In a news release, Sheriff Duane Waldera of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office announced new measures implemented in Courtroom and Courthouse security.
Effective Monday October 08, the Sheriff's Office implemented a security scanning area adjacent to the Circuit Court in the Jackson County Courthouse. The security area is manned by Sheriff's deputies that are responsible for scanning people and packages entering the Courtroom area.
Sheriff Waldera related that signage has been posted alerting people appearing in the Circuit Court that they and their belongings are subject to search. The Sheriff related that this would include any bags or packages people wanted to bring into the courtroom.
"We live in a pretty complicated world now," said Sheriff Waldera. "Disruptions in Courtrooms are on the rise across the nation and some of those include shootings." The Sheriff related that often times the Courtroom can be a "powder keg" of emotions and at times those emotions spill over into some irrational behavior.
Recently, Jackson County authorities did encounter a man in the courtroom who had smuggled a "look alike" firearm into the courtroom. Sheriff Waldera indicated that the "fake" gun looked very real and if it had been displayed in open court, the outcome may have become devastating.
Deputies will be manning the security checkpoint on an irregular basis, two to three times a week. It was reported that in the past only "high profile" cases required security scanning, that procedure has now changed said Sheriff Waldera.
Sheriff Waldera stated that the main reason for the upgrade in security measures was to make for a safe work environment for both visitors to the Circuit Court and to the employees that work there. The Sheriff did relate that full time scanning area would someday be implemented but made no further comment on when that would be.