|Security of State Courthouses to be Studied, Chief Justice Parraguirre Announces|
|Monday, 11 January 2010 07:57|
The Nevada Judiciary will initiate security studies of courthouses throughout the state following Monday’s deadly attack on the federal courthouse in Las Vegas, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Parraguirre has announced.
Federal authorities already have stated that a nationwide review of federal courthouse security will be conducted as a result of the Las Vegas shooting incident that left a court security officer dead and a deputy marshal injured.
“We have seen what can occur and we need to be sure we can protect our judges, court staff, and citizens,” Chief Justice Parraguirre said. “A Court Security Task Force was created several years ago to address the issue and we have made significant strides despite our fiscal limitations.”
During the 2009 Legislature, the court-sponsored Assembly Bill 65 created a $20 filing fee increase on civil cases to provide resources for court security improvements. In Elko, the funds are being used to purchase metal detectors and an X-ray scanner for the courthouse.
“Many of Nevada’s rural counties have aging courthouses that were not constructed to cope with today’s security concerns,” the new Chief Justice said. “And even in the state’s more populous counties, the courts struggle every day to provide adequate protections for those who work in and visit the facilities.”
The study will include the Supreme Court in Carson City as well as the county and city court facilities. The facilities other than the Supreme Court building are the responsibility of the cities or counties under the Nevada Constitution, but the Supreme Court is constitutionally the administrative head of the Judicial Branch.
Chief Justice Parraguirre said he will ask the U.S. Marshal’s Service to assist in assessing the security of Nevada’s courthouses. The Marshal’s Service during 2007 conducted a facility survey on the century-old White Pine County Courthouse in Ely, and concluded that there were security issues that needed to be addressed.
“The incident in Las Vegas shows that we must be attentive, responsive, and prepared,” Chief Justice Parraguirre said. “Courts across the country, including those in Nevada, have experienced an increase in threats to judges in recent years. We can’t and don’t take those threats lightly.”
A form has been prepared by the Administrative Office of the Court, which is expected to be mandated by the Supreme Court, so threats to judges and staff and security incidents can be better tracked.
Because of security concerns, the Supreme Court already has provided metal detectors to rural courts in Wells and Jackpot.
|Last Updated on Monday, 11 January 2010 08:00|