East Tennessee county to boost courthouse security

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

CLINTON (WVLT) -- In light of Thursday’s shooting in Kirkwood, Missouri’s city hall, at least one East Tennessee county is forming plans to boost its own building security.

Up until now, if you walked into the Anderson County courthouse, you could go through four different entrances without passing through a metal detector.

That’s something the courthouse’s security committee wants to change.

On Friday they held an emergency meeting in order to review plans that would keep people inside the courthouse a lot safer.

"We've got a building that's 40 years old and it was designed without security issues like we have today," said Myron Iwanski, chairman of the Anderson County Commission.

The Anderson County Courthouse Security Committee agreed that it is now time to change the building's old ways.

“Right now we have four entrances, four exits and no security at those check points,” said Alan Beauchamp, Anderson County’s Director of Buildings & Grants. “We have a secure check point on the third floor, but we want to secure the whole courthouse."

“In light of things that go on today, it would be good to have a way to know that we have people coming into the courtroom or into the commission's room that have been through a screening process," said Iwanski.

The blueprints are in, but the committee has a lot to consider before deciding how and where they'll place the metal detectors.

"What would be the best way to do that, which entrance, which exit, what do we utilize?” Beauchamp said.

"We are trying to configure the space and the entryways to allow for security purposes,” said Iwanski. “To meet the other needs is kind of what we're struggling with."

On a busy day, more than a thousand people walk through the metal detectors on the third floor alone.

During the meeting, the committee decided they'll have to make some modifications to the original blue print to make more room.

The courthouse will undergo some major renovations that will cost tax payers thousands of dollars.

"You have public convenience weighed against public security, and no matter what we do, we're going to have some cost," said Beauchamp, who also believes you can’t put a price on security.
"The world has changed, 9/11 changed the world, so we're trying to secure it to make everybody safe."

The committee will present its proposal to county commission on Monday, and courthouse construction for the metal detectors could begin as soon as this summer.

You can see the blue print by clicking on the .PDF file at the top of the page.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 15452296 - local8now.com/a?a=15452296