Courthouse still unsafe

Published 8:31 pm Thursday, November 5, 2009

The issue of security at the Chilton County Courthouse has come up again, and, again, we think the courthouse is not secure enough.

But apparently, at least some commissioners aren’t bothered by the fact that there is nothing to stop someone from walking into the courthouse with a weapon and, well, we’ll stop there.

“I think it’s fine like it is,” commissioner Joe Headley said. “People look at our county as a safe county.”

The problem with that thinking is that everyone thinks they’re safe…until they’re not. The people at Fort Hood, the U.S. Army’s largest post, probably thought they were safe Thursday until a gunman opened fire, killing 12 and wounding 30.

We can’t live our lives paranoid, but it’s hard not to be when we have to do business in a courthouse that doesn’t have metal detectors at its main entrance.

That simple security measure wouldn’t even cost the county anything because there are metal detectors on the third floor, on the way to the courtroom. All we would have to do is move the detector downstairs.

There have been improvements. The process of obtaining a key card to the building has been made exclusive. There are 248 active cards, which still seems a little much.

“It used to be so bad that if Hitler wanted a key card to our courthouse, all he had to do was come in and ask for it,” commissioner Allen Caton said.

Sadly, all Hitler would need to do is wait until business hours then walk through the front door.