I understand that at a recent Board of Commissioner’s meeting the security at the Clare County Courthouse was raised.
As I understand the proposal, all but one of the entrances to the courthouse would be locked and everyone entering would have to go through a metal detector.
I find this proposal unnecessary. Having practiced law almost 27 years here including have served as a prosecutor where I was threatened time to time by defendants, I do not see the need.
When one runs for public office, you are bound to run into a few loud mouths or disorderly people—it comes with the territory or don’t run for office. There is always an occasional problem but that doesn’t mean we make the courthouse an armed encampment. When there is the occasional disorderly person, they have been quickly dealt with by our present court security. This is why there are six or more armed bailiffs in the courthouse at any one time.
The prosecutor and judges are adequately protected. Imagine what we would say to a late night liquor store clerk who is surrounded by six or more armed guards who insists on a metal detector at the door because he or she doesn’t feel safe enough! We would shake our heads in utter disbelief. Also, I understand this new security will cost the county as much as $100,000 per year, and the persons made safer, if at all, will be the prosecutor and judges or a total of six. Seems like a lot for so little.
This proposal will not protect the citizen. The rest of us go in and out of the same door every time we want to use the courthouse. Remember the three people shot in the courthouse parking lot in Mt. Pleasant—their metal detector in the courthouse was working that day. The metal detector won’t make the citizens any safer.
What problems are they trying to solve? What problems have there been? Is it worth $100,000 more per year to protect against an imaginary threat? Not in my opinion.
Ghazey H. Aleck II
Attorney at Law