If you have been to the Lauderdale County annex building within the last month or so, you may have been met with some resistance before getting on the elevator. Now, everyone entering the building must go through the new security system before gaining access to the offices and staff upstairs.
"People are becoming more and more violent every day.," said Justice Court Judge Robbie Robinson. "We feel that we have to change with the times and that's exactly what we are doing."
Robinson had been working to increase the security of the annex for about two years. Now, when entering the building, you must pass through a metal detector. Then armed security guards may choose to use a security wand for a more thorough scan.
"Well, any time people come to court on a civil cases you are going to have a winner and a loser, and someone is going to leave upset," said Robinson.
On average, anywhere from a 1,000 to 1,400 people pass through the metal detector each week. So far, officials say there have been no major problems, but the guards have had to confiscate pocket knives and a few other items.
"We have taken knives off individuals that we felt were inappropriate to be toting or carrying into a public building," said Sheriff Billy Sollie.
Traffic in and out of the building isn't slowed too much, according to those who are in and out on a daily basis.
"If it inconveniences you a little bit, for the price of safety, then it's worth it," said school Superintendent David Little, who works in the building.