Security Concerns Raised

The Lauderdale County Courthouse has a metal detector for court traffic, but there is no security for justice court across the street in the Courthouse Annex.

"This security matter is about everyone that works in the annex building and everyone that conducts business in the annex building," said Robbie Robinson, a justice court judge. "And I think it's a very important matter and I'm not going to let it die. I'm going to keep going until they give me some type of consideration."

The board of supervisors appointed a committee of two last September to study the pros and cons, but so far no changes have been presented for a vote. The annex has two entrances for the general public.

"I believe that the annex building is easily secured," said District 1 Supervisor Eddie Harper. "We can put the security on the first floor. Everyone would have to go through it, even people going into our board meetings, at that point and time, would have to go through it, but I also want to fix the courthouse security at the same time."

The courthouse has three public entry ways, but only traffic to the second and third floors where chancery and circuit court are conducted goes through the metal detector.

Prisoners are brought through this building for their court appearances with hands and feet shackled.

"But the rules of court are that the chains must come off before the prisoner enters the courtroom so the jury won't see him shackled," said Sheriff Billy Sollie.

That's to protect the defendant from unfair prejudice by a jury.