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Lauderdale Co. Courthouse adding armed guard

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Currently, one armed and one unarmed guard patrol the entrance. Currently, one armed and one unarmed guard patrol the entrance.
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Lauderdale County is beefing up security at the courthouse. The county commission approved a resolution to add a second armed guard at the building entrance.

At any given moment you can currently find an armed deputy and an unarmed contracted security guard at the front of the building. But sometimes those deputies get called away, leaving the guard unarmed – but that will soon change.

The courthouse security committee asked the county commission to increase the salary of the guard so that he can be trained to carry a firearm in the event of an emergency. The county commission granted that request.

Courthouse officials hope the additional armed guard, paired with the metal detectors, will help deter crime. The change will cost the county a little under $5,000 more per year, but Judge Mike Jones, who oversees the security committee, said you can't put a price on safety.

"Life is in many instances a dangerous proposition, especially up here, and you can't strip search everybody who comes into the courthouse. You have to find the right balance, and we hope we've reached that," said Judge Jones.

The resolution means there will be at least one armed officer on duty at all times at the courthouse.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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