Harrison courthouse security tightened

CADIZ — The Harrison County Courthouse recently installed a new walk-through metal detector for added security in the courtroom.

Installed last week, the two Multi-Zone Walk-Through Metal Detectors purchased from CEIA USA Ltd. located in Twinsburg Ohio will be used only at courtroom entrances.

“The devices will detect guns, knives and other dangerous weapons preventing them from entering the courtrooms and will help provide additional security for all persons involved in the courtroom process.,” said Harrison County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Nunner who recently officially retired but continues to hear cases for the county.

“The old scanner was erratic and not reliable,” Nunner explained. “We are very fortunate to have the funding available to replace the scanner and add one on the first floor for County Court.”

According to the manufacturer the model precisely identifies multiple target locations from head to toe on the left, center and right sides of the body and provides advanced broadband detection technology.

If the light bar on the magnetometer goes into the red, individuals entering the facility will be asked by court personnel to remove any metal objects and pass through again. Individuals will be subject to search if they do not pass through successfully.

Although no weapons have been used in the courtroom, reported fights have broke out during some sessions.

The devices will also prevent cell phones and other electronics which are not allowed in the courtrooms. In addition to being a disruption during court proceedings, cell phones and other items could be used to photograph victims or jury members, which the court tries to protect.

“While it is probably the minimum security that can be provided, I feel it is an important improvement,” the judge stated. “They provide a deterrent to acts of violence by keeping dangerous weapons and other unauthorized items out of the courtroom.”

I think it’s mere presence both acts as a preventative and a deterrent,” Nunner said. “I feel the biggest factor is that they make people think about their conduct.”

Pamer may be reached at mpalmer@timesleaderonline.com