Counties Get Extra Money To Increase Security

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- County courthouses across the state have been allotted thousands of dollars in grants to purchase new security equipment.

The Tennessee General Assembly and Governor Bredesen approved in the 2007-2008 budget an additional $2 million to upgrade and improve courthouse security across the state.

The grants will go toward panic buttons, handheld metal detectors, bulletproof benches, walk through magnetometers, X-ray machines, camera and surveillance systems, Tazer guns and bulletproof vests. A portion of the money will also be used for training security personnel.

A total of 83 counties received funding, with Shelby County getting the highest amount with $74,000 from the Administrative Office of the Courts and more than $8,000 in matching funds from the county.

In August 2005, an inmate serving time for robbery and assault escaped after his wife allegedly killed a guard who was escorting the shackled prisoner outside the Roane County courthouse. Roane County received $4,000 in security grants from the state.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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