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Jackson Circuit Court To Get Courtroom Security Upgrades

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Jackson Circuit Court To Get Courtroom Security Upgrades

Jackson County Circuit Court will make security upgrades to its courtroom with some $110,000 in grant money from the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts.

Circuit Court Clerk Jeff Hardy said the state creates new minimum requirements for courtroom security each year. He said Jackson County has not been able to meet those requirements with limited funding. He said a new bulletproof bench, additional metal detectors, and courtroom security officer training are likely the highest priorities.

“People’s emotions can get very high and people can get, you know, angry very quickly,” Hardy said. “And things can go wrong very quickly. So, again, we just need to do and want to do everything we can to prevent something that could occur like that.”

Hardy said the courtroom currently has a large magneto motor entryway and a pair of small metal detectors. He said upgraded equipment could help detect possible threats before they come to fruition. He said the county’s Courtroom Security Committee is creating a list of priorities.

“The most important thing, regardless of how court may be going or what the outcomes may be in court, obviously, priority number one is everyone’s safety,” Hardy said. “Not just the court staff and the court officers, but even, you know, the people that are here for court. So anything that we can do to improve upon that courtroom security and safety, then absolutely, that’s what we want to do.”

He said the bench currently in the courtroom that lacks bulletproof material also does not have a panic button. He said adding a panic button will be on the list of projects that the county will bid out in the coming months.

“There’s a lot more that goes into courtroom security than just some metal detectors,” Hardy said. “So, we have quite a few things on our list that we need to upgrade and we kind of have that in the works now.”

Hardy said the Courtroom Security Committee is made up of people involved in the courtroom, as well as a broad spectrum of community members who want to see the Jackson County court system operate smoothly. He said the county is privileged to have received a piece of the $4 million that the state provides the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts annually to parcel out.


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