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$100,000 to secure the Clay Co. Courthouse

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Updated: 5/02/2013 9:27 pm
GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- Knives, scissors, pepper spray, just some of the items security workers have confiscated from people walking into the Clay County Courthouse.

Security is already tight there.  Action News has learned it's about to get even tighter.

Sheriff Rick Beseler told us, "We call it universal screening.  Which means everyone other than law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry a firearm, and judges who are also authorized to carry a firearm, will have to go through metal detectors and be screened to make sure we can control any weapons that may be brought into the courthouse."

Beseler is making some changes, after a recent review showed some holes in its system. He's plugging those holes now, with that universal screening and by adding 24/7 building surveillance.

Of course, those changes will cost money. Right now, security workers are contracted. "Which costs about half as much than a deputy sheriff, with all their cost of equipment and benefits and that type of thing," he said.

But the hours he'll need those security workers will more than double. "Which will increase the cost approximately $100,000 a year," explained the sheriff.

He says he's asked for the money in his latest budget, which he just submitted yesterday. "Unfortunately, with the world we live in today, it's just the cost of making sure that when you come to our courthouse that you're safe."

If his request passes the County Commission, the security changes go into effect July 1st.
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