South Georgia courtrooms tighten security - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia courtrooms tighten security

Albany-- Security is tighter at the Dougherty County courthouse Monday to make sure that the courthouse murders committed in Fulton County don't happen here.

Sheriff's deputies guarded the doors of the courtroom during today's murder trial. Sheriff Jamil Saba told county commissioners that he plans to ask the U. S. Marshal's Office to review security at the courthouse to make sure protocol is being followed.

"Several years ago that they came in a gave us some pointers to make the courthouse more security. And we went through a lot of them. We're going to ask them to come back again to improve that security at the courthouse. This happened in Atlanta, but it could happen anywhere."

Sheriff Saba also plans to meet with Chief Superior Court Judge Loring Gray to discuss security. Right now, three bailiffs carry weapons, but part-time bailiffs don't.

Dougherty County deputies are also paying their respect to the fallen Fulton deputy by wearing back ribbons over their badges.

Sumter County also beefed up courthouse security. More than 190 people were up for calendar call Monday. All the defendants, lawyers, witnesses and visitors were individually searched for weapons before entering the courtroom.

"It takes something like what happened in Fulton County to make you aware of things you need to be doing," said Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith. "I have additional personal on staff here today on the outside perimeter of the courthouse. We just want to try to make things safe for everybody."

The Sheriff says Sumter County is preparing to build a new courthouse that will have metal detectors located at every entrance.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com