Keeping Judges Protected

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The Warren County Justice Center was built five years ago with security in mind.

“We have seen some threats toward the judges, typically those are spontaneous.”

Deputy Brent Childers says keeping people safe is their top priority.

“It can happen anywhere!”

And other deputies like Jo Beckley agree.

“We’ve had people bring switchblades, knifes, butterfly knives, guns, we find them in their purses and we’ve had people lay them on the table.”

From wherever you park until you walk into the front door there are a constant set of eyes watching.

“Everything is monitored by cameras throughout the building,” Childers said.

Prisoners are escorted by unarmed deputies through a tunnel that connects from the Warren County Regional Jail to the justice center and are kept in holding cells handcuffed and sometimes shackled outside the courtroom.

If a situation were to arise, prisoners wouldn’t have a place to go because every door is guarded and they would need more than a key to get through.

Warren Circuit Judge, John Grise, says he know the dangers of his job.

“Judges to an extent are always vulnerable.”

Which is why he says being aware is very important.

“We feel very safe here, the security measures in place are very good and well thought out.”

Authorities at the Warren County Justice Center can have the whole building on lockdown by the touch of a button.

Two weeks ago in Chicago, a federal judge came home to find her mother and husband gunned down. Authorities immediately drew up a list of people who might have had cause to be angry with the judge or her lawyer husband. The list ran 600 names long.

In Atlanta, a man being escorted into court for his rape trial on Friday stole a deputy’s gun, killing the judge, and 2 other people.