Courthouse Security Begins

When early voters step inside the newly renovated Nacogdoches County courthouse annex the first person they see is a sheriff's deputy. That uniformed presence will continue from here on out. It's part of phase one of added security to the courthouse. Sheriff Thomas Kerss said, "It will not only serve individuals going to the voter registrar, but once the 420th District Court begins to operate from that facility, then we'll be able to screen individuals that are going to the district court."

You can find other courthouse security such as the installation of computerized locks on doors. Only employees with magnetic identification cards will have access through the doors. Software is being installed now, something delayed by Hurricane Rita. Kerss said, "Not only was the work delayed because the courthouse was without power for several days, but some of the equipment that had to be shipped in was delayed."

In February a courthouse shooting in Tyler that left two dead and several wounded increased awareness about courthouse security. A Nacogdoches County courthouse security plan began to coincide with courthouse renovations. The installation of metal detectors and the introduction of only one public entrance will be changes the community can expect to happen very soon.