County to move detectors to courthouse entrance

July 26, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Employees and people doing business in the Franklin County Courthouse will encounter a new layer of security beginning next week.

The county will install a metal detector in the first-floor lobby that will start operating on Wednesday, said John E. Strine, chief deputy for the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.

Everyone will be required to pass through it, including employees, attorneys and the public.

Previously, only the public entering the courtrooms on the third floor of the building had to pass through a metal detector.


Now every time someone comes or goes from the courthouse, which also houses the offices of the Franklin County Commissioners, the Clerk of Courts, the District Attorney and the Public Defender, they will have to first walk through a metal detector.

Strine said the reason for adding a metal detector to the lobby is just a matter of upgrading the present security system and to offer better protection for those in the building.

Strine said because there is more room in the lobby, he is not worried about the detectors causing a backlog, even during busy court days.

"We will be in better shape to accommodate larger crowds. The floor space is greater than is afforded on the third floor," Strine said.

The metal detector will temporarily be placed between the information desk and the Prothonotary's Office, but renovations to allow access again from the Lincoln Way East doors will probably shift the unit.

Signs posted throughout the courthouse informing people of the new policy also advise to "refrain from carrying any unnecessary items of personal property. If you regularly carry items such as knives, mace or scissors, please leave them in your vehicle or at home."

The existing metal detector on the third floor will remain where it is until the new one is up and running and deputies determine there are no glitches, Strine said.

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