Commissioners want more courthouse security after recent gun vio - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Commissioners want more courthouse security after recent gun violence


Security for entry into Stoddard County Justice Center isn’t required right now, but judges and county commissioner's say after recent gun violence in the U.S. that must change.

“We’ve recognized that there’s a fringe element here in the United States of, for lack of better words, are crazy, they have issues," Presiding Commissioner Greg Mathis said

He said adding security to the justice center is something that can no longer be ignored.

“”I’ve fought it for the last five years," Mathis said. "I’ve always thought ‘It’s not going to happen in Stoddard County,' but you know, it's not going to happen in Ohio, it’s not going to happen in Oregon, it’s not going to happen at a grade school in Florida. It happens and it’s anybody’s guess on where it will happen next.”

The justice center is the home to three judges' offices and two separate courtrooms.

The male and female juveniles are housed in cells on the lower levels.

Debbie Battles has lived in Bloomsfield for the last 20 years. She said times have changed and improvements in security must happen.

“I feel it’s needed," Battles said. "The way things are now you can’t be too careful, we always think somethings going to happen somewhere else, and we never thinks it’s going to happen in our small town.”

Battles said while the commissioners have made sure the court house was safe in the past, it’s time to make the proper changes in the times we’re living in now.

“They’ve done a good job so far, but times are changing, people are changes," she said. "It’s getting a little scary and it’s time for the change.”

Mathis said there’s been one problem that has held the commission back from making the improvements.

“It’s just been a financial issue, but at this point now I don’t think it can be financial any longer," Mathis said. "I think we have to do something.”

The commissioners are now looking at bids for the renovation of the building and is hopeful to start the improvement within the next few months.

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