Georgia Senator heads plan to boost security - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Senator heads plan to boost security

Senator Joseph Carter Senator Joseph Carter

Leesburg- The Lee County courthouse sits as a centerpiece to a growing area. "As we continue to grow in population, unfortunately that means a growth in the population of bad guys too," says County Administrator Langford Holbrook.

But is the Lee County Courthouse or any small town courthouse prepared to handle the threat of a potential deadly situation like in Atlanta? "I would say our situation is a fair bit different certainly from Fulton County. We're a real small county. Even from Dougherty County in terms of the volume and the size of things that we have going on here," says Holbrook.

And smaller counties usually mean less security. At any time the hallway could be full of people entering and leaving the courthouse. There haven't been any past problems but recent events have them reassessing security. "Certainly in light of that, it would be irresponsible not to look at those things and there probably are some things we can do to improve it," says Holbrook.

Senator Joseph Carter wants those improvements across the board. He says all state and county buildings across Georgia, no matter how big or small, should have the same level of safety. In a phone interview Senator Carter says, "Going in and out of courthouses across this state, I've seen those places where I've walked in unobstructed with there being no security in place."

Today, he introduced a resolution to create a 5-member committee to study security of public buildings to determine what needs to be done. Holbrook says the biggest obstacle will be the cost. "I think if what they're going to do is come up with some money to help with that, I'm all for it. Certainly our elected officials ought to look at things statewide."

Senator Carter understands funding could be a problem and the committee will evaluate ways to deal with that. Their goal is not to send mandates to counties but to create minimum security requirements. "I wanna make sure that the ultimate outcome is that we've created an environment where all county courthouses and all state buildings are safe," says Carter.

Holbrook says, "Any bit of assistance we have from the experts up in Atlanta is going to be welcome in that regard."

He worries that a one size fits all plan may not work and may end up being overkill in some situations. The study committee will be made up of two security experts and three senators.

posted by len.kiese@walb.com