Bryan County courthouse beefs up security

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DURANT,OK -- Bryan County Commissioners have helped install a new security system at the courthouse to better protect the public.

"We all lose our temper from time to time; we just don't want to put anyone into a position to use their firearm." said Monty Montgomery.

From now on, Bryan County courthouse employees and visitors are required to place most everything from their pockets into these containers and walk through this metal detector.

Commissioner Monty Montgomery says they implemented the new security to keep anyone from bringing a gun inside.

"But you don't know when that's going to occur, so the only way I know of to prevent that is to just keep the weapons out of the courthouse." said Montgomery.

"I believe it's going to make people feel more secure when they come into the courthouse." said John Bates.

Bryan County Deputy John Bates has been hired by the county to man the east entrance which is now the only way into the courthouse.

He'll be stationed there from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday whenever the courthouse is open.

He says security is a big focus for them and most counties nowadays.

"I believe it's a big concern in the whole country right now, because of all the violent events in the county right now." said Bates.

A few months ago Montgomery says someone threatened to bring a gun into the courthouse.

He says in the 90's a man actually took out a switchblade and cut himself in a courtroom.

Montgomery says he hopes these new security measures can prevent those types of dangerous situations in the future.

"If somebody is wearing a coat as mine you can put a gun and a knife under there, and we had basically no security before we had this." said Montgomery.

Montgomery says he understands the new system might take some extra time and may not be popular with everyone at first but it's necessary.

"It's a very small price to pay for the security and the safer mind to know that there's no weapons in the courthouse." said Montgomery.

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