More security at Grayson County Justice Center

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

SHERMAN, Tex. -- The Grayson County Justice Center is improving its security. Authorities say it's to better protect employees and the public. County officials say recent violence at courthouses across the country brought on the decision to take safety precautions now before it's too late.

In 2005, a gunman opened fire on his wife and son in front of the Smith County Courthouse in Tyler, Texas, killing his wife and an innocent bystander before being shot.

It’s tragedies like this officials want to prevent in Grayson County.

"We have no idea whets coming into this building right now. We have no way of knowing,” Grayson County Sheriff Keith Gary says.

Sheriff Gary says hundreds of people pass through the doors of the Grayson County Justice Center everyday. Gary, along with other county leaders, wants to make sure none of them are bringing in anything dangerous.

"What we're doing is what counties to the south of us are doing, Collin County, Denton’s just reached the point that we have to protect the judiciary. We have to protect the folks that come and go from this building as much as possible."

An x-ray machine along with a magnetometer was installed at the front door this past week. Approximately $310,000 was appropriated in this year's budget for changes to the justice center, and county officials say that's a small price to pay to keep track of everyone.

"Any packages that are brought in or any case has to go through the machine and everyone will walk through the magnetometer."

So far, officials say they have received a positive response from many who have seen the equipment that's similar to what you'd see at airports nationwide.

One difference at the Justice Center is that visitors will not have to take off their shoes or their belts.

"We’re going to make this as user-friendly as possible, and we want them to feel welcome in the building. We don’t want anyone to feel threatened by anything. This is for their good, as well as for folks that work in this building."

Grayson County will hire contract help to run the equipment. Officials say they hope to get the machines up and running by the first of the year.

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  • by Anonymous on Dec 14, 2007 at 03:59 PM
    Kelly you are so right.not white trash tom bean,your the idiot????
  • by Opinion8ed Location: on Texoma on Dec 13, 2007 at 10:15 AM
    This is being done in response to a shooting that occurred OUTSIDE a courthouse in Smith Co? Without even trying hard, I can come up with two or three ways to bypass this crap. How much is this going to cost the taxpayers? What's next? Strip searches?
  • by Not White Trash Location: Tom Bean on Dec 13, 2007 at 10:08 AM
    Kelly, you are an idiot!!!!!
  • by Laura Location: Grayson County on Dec 13, 2007 at 04:39 AM
    I for one am glad to hear that the county is doing more to protect its citizens. I am glad to see the leaders of Grayson County being proactive instead of reactive. What a great thing to be able to walk into a place where justice is supposed to be upheld, and seeing more security precautions taken. I am very proud of the sherriff and other leaders responsible for making this decision, it looks like the voters made some good decisions.
  • by kelly on Dec 12, 2007 at 06:09 PM
    if i screwed as many people around as they do i would want a little more protection and security too
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