Crisis shakes security at courthouse

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Employees in the Pike County Courthouse were shaken from the relative comfort of security on Monday when an armed man held a guard at gunpoint.

The incident, which was thankfully

brief, ended peacefully after a brief negotiation process.

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But it was enough to shake the employees who saw the incident and those who didn’t.

As Pike County Revenue Commissioner Curtis Blair said, "It scared them over there; it scared us over here, too."

In less than a minute, an armed man was able to pass through the metal detectors and pull the security guard away from her post, holding her at gunpoint, officials said.

The incident happened quickly, and law enforcement officials were quick to point out that the security guard handled the situation well.

And, with the sheriff in the courthouse, the incident was resolved in a matter of minutes and the man was arrested.

But it did more than simply scare employees.

The incident prompted the county commissioners to tighten security measures at the courthouse, requiring employees to wear identification badges at all times and pass through metal detectors when they come and go.

Those are helpful measures, and perhaps the more stringent security requirements will deter any future random acts of violence or danger such as Monday’s

hostage situation.

For now, it’s important that employees of the courthouse regain a sense of security in their workplace and remain calm and focused on their work at hand, even though we all expect they are doing so with a heighted sense of alertness today.

We were luckly on Monday.

A potentially dangerous situation was neutralized, quickly, and we should be thankful.  

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