Harrison County Supervisors Weigh Security Options For Courthouses - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison County Supervisors Weigh Security Options For Courthouses

Harrison County Supervisors will consider different ways to make the second floors of the Gulfport and Biloxi Courthouses more secure.

The board heard from its architect on Monday about security issues and efforts to equip both buildings with fire alarms.

The supervisors are particularly concerned about the second floor of both courthouses because that's where all the courts are located. Some of the judges have told the supervisors that more security is needed.

Architect Keleal Hassin told the supervisors he has received some recommendations from the judges, the sheriff and from the buildings and grounds superintendent. They include metal detectors and/or x-ray machines.

Hassin says he's no security expert, and he recommended to the board that it hire someone with such expertise.

"I don't know if we need x-ray equipment in this courthouse," Hassin said. "But that's not my call to make, because we can't be responsible if someone gets hurt here because we recommended not having x-ray equipment, etc., and if you look at these reports you're talking about some pretty extensive stuff that might be required."

"We don't want to turn this into a vault," Board President William Martin said. "But at the same time, we want to make sure that the public and the employees and the judges are all safe."

Hassin told the supervisors he would come up with some security options and estimated cost of each. He also says it will be about another six weeks before he recommends a fire alarm system for both courthouses.

The Biloxi courthouse has no system, and the one in the Gulfport courthouse works only some of the time.

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