Measure Would Tighten Courthouse Security

JANUARY 16, 2007 - Posted at 7:49 a.m. CST

TEXARKANA, AR - Miller County Judge Jim Hudson wants the state to have a security director whose job would be to ensure that judicial districts have safe courtrooms.

A bill before the Legislature would provide grant money for personnel, building improvements and equipment needs.  State Representative Steve Harrelson, a Texarkana Democrat, says the bill is the product of several years of work by Hudson.

Harrelson says he hopes the state can provide the funding needed to upgrade security in courtrooms across Arkansas.  While judges and lawyers would be protected with tighter security, Harrelson says juries and other staff and members of the public would benefit, as well.

Arkansas Supreme Court justices are pushing for the court security legislation as are a number of counties.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)