We, the Courthouse Security Committee, would like to thank numerous people for their patience and cooperation in working closely with us in the recent changes that have been made in the new security at the courthouse.
The Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA) had recently visited the Johnson County Courthouse by request of us, the Courthouse Security Committee, to do a feasibility study. TLETA found numerous problems dealing with the security of the building and the safety of the employees and public. In addressing some of these issues, the courthouse has had to take on some changes in order to comply with TLETA’s recommendations.
Included with some of the changes are the entrances. You will now see only one main entrance, which is on the northeast end of the building and is also handicap accessible. At that entrance there will now be a certified officer located at that entrance during all courthouse business hours. The reason for this is that all employees and public will now enter through a metal detector. The main purpose for this detector is to detect any weapons that someone may be trying to conceal in order to take into the offices and courtrooms where weapons may be prohibited. It will not detect medical pieces such as pacemakers, implants, pins, etc. You will only be searched if the detector has detected something that may not be allowed in the courthouse. If it detects something on your person or something you are carrying, then you or those items may be subject to search.
There is a separate entrance for offenders that may be present for court from the jail or the prisons. However, with only one main entrance, there are still multiple exits.
We realize that having only one entrance may be an inconvenience to some and we do apologize for that, however the safety of the elected officials, employees, judges and public is more important to us than convenience. Residents should also know that no taxpayer dollars were spent to implement these new security measures. All funding for these changes have been taken from the courthouse security fund, which is made up of revenue from fines and costs from court cases.
TLETA has further recommendations that we anticipate to address in the future, however having used a lot of our funds for the changes that have been made, we will have to wait for revenue in the courthouse security fund to build back up for further changes.
We want to thank all the elected officials, employees, and judges for working closely with us while these changes were made and implemented. As well, we want to thank the public for your patience and understanding that these changes were only made for their safety as well as the staff of all offices of the courthouse.
Courthouse Security Committee Members are as follows:
Chancellor John Rambo
District Attorney General Tony Clark
Mayor Larry Potter
Clerk and Master Sherrie Fenner
Sheriff Mike Reece