Courthouse Security In The QCA - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Courthouse Security In The QCA

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The Clinton County Courthouse added a metal detector and x-ray scanner over a year ago. 

"Well, there were a lot of times we said, 'Boy, there's nothing keeping somebody from pulling out a gun here and shooting someone. It could certainly happen'," said Clinton County Clerk of Court Kim Hess.

Now, that's something Kim Hess and anyone else going to the Clinton Courthouse doesn't have to worry about. 

Hess said she had worked at that courthouse for 24 years without metal detectors or x-ray scanners, only an officer presence. Luckily, she can say she's worked there for 25 years now without an incident. 

"People don't usually come to the courthouse for happy times," said Hess. "They come here because something has happened that they have to deal with and most of the time it deals with somebody being upset."

Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln said it's not a cheap operation, but a necessary one. He said it also helps the justice system focus on keeping a pure trial.

"The people participating in the trial, the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, the defense attorney feel comfortable doing their job without having to fear harm," said Sheriff Lincoln.

A bailiff at the courthouse said they've never had an incident with someone with a weapon, but knows their presence and their security system makes a difference. 

"Sometimes they'll look at us turn around and walk back out and it makes you wonder, what was their intent when they came into the courthouse?" said bailiff Michael Wirth.

Wirth said they've recovered several weapons, but mostly small pocket knives. 

Clinton residents said they feel secure.  

"I think it makes everyone feel more confident that they can go about their lives and their business and feel as though they're safe and that's really the bottom line to me," said Clinton resident Doug Weston-Kolarik.

"I feel pretty good walking in here just knowing that my safety is being looked at," said Clinton resident Justin Larson.


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