Hamblen Co. officials beefing up court and jail security

Hamblen Co. officials beefing up court and jail security

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Not only are there metal detectors at both the justice center and courthouse now, but also armed court security officers. Not only are there metal detectors at both the justice center and courthouse now, but also armed court security officers.

By KRISTYN CADDELL
6 News Reporter 

MORRISTOWN (WATE) -- Officials in Hamblen County have added some much-needed security measures to both the courthouse and the justice center.

Until a few months ago, there was virtually no security at the Hamblen County Justice Center and the only thing standing in the way of a potential criminal was an unarmed officer.

But things have changed over the past few months. Not only are there metal detectors at both the justice center and courthouse now, but also armed court security officers.

"The biggest word I've been hearing is that it's about time. People are very glad to see it," explains Hamblen County Lt. Craig Cloer.

Dozens of weapons have been confiscated in just a short time from people walking into the justice center.

"Everything from box cutters to the automatic knives," Cloer adds.

Hamblen County officials say something had to give when it came to security.

"A lot of people would come into the court system and they would actually be carrying a weapon when they came into court," says Sheriff Esco Jarnagin.

"We have several people that have made threats against various officers and judges in the department and the court system," Cloer says.

Locals who spoke with 6 News say any form of security is a welcome sight.

"I like it a lot better because the things that are happening around the world, you can't ever be too safe," says Hamblen County resident Ginger Carpenter.

It's one step in the right direction for this East Tennessee town and there could be even more security to come.

The cost for the metal detectors was around $30,000 and they were funded in part by grants.

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