DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - As they are required by law, the Dougherty County Sheriff and Chief Judge have reviewed security at the Dougherty County Judicial Building, and next month will begin new upgrades they feel are needed to protect the people inside it.
Dougherty County Sheriff's officials said people in courthouses can get emotional, and sometimes even dangerous.
In January in Magistrate Court, during an eviction hearing, one woman attacked the landlord representative, snatching the weave off her head, and then beating her with it. Finally, it was the judge who stopped the fight, pulling the two women physically apart.
Incidents like that are why sheriff's officials said they want to make sure no dangerous weapons are in the courthouse.
Starting October 23rd, besides guns and knives, sharp objects will now be forbidden. "Scissors, razor knives, box cutters. Things that can be very lethal," said Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Captain Craig Dodd.
Also, after October 23rd you will not be able to bring liquids into the courthouse. "No other liquids with the exception of court evidence and baby formula in plastic bottles are allowed beyond the security desk," said Dodd.
Anything that can produce a flame is also forbidden. No lighters, no matches, as well as no e-cigarettes.
And if you make a mistake and bring these objects to the security screening, they will not hold the objects for you.
"If they come into the courthouse, they have the option of putting them back in their car, taking it back to their car, or we will dispose of it," said Dodd.
Parking outside the courthouse will be much more tightly enforced, so most people will need to park in one of the decks across the street or in the lot behind the courthouse.
Under the new courthouse rules, everyone entering will have to go through security scanning, except for employees with their ID cards. Sheriff's officials warn they will have random screening of those employees.
These new security upgrades begin October 23rd.
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