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Comms mull adding security at court sites

Lycoming County commissioners discussed the possibility of beefing up security in courtrooms during their meeting Tuesday.

District judge offices located across the county are particularly vulnerable to violent acts, they noted.

However, all courtrooms, including those in the courthouse, are hardly immune from disturbances.

Commissioner Scott Metzger noted that in the past year more than three dozen attempts were made to bring firearms past metal detectors and security and into the courthouse.

“So that’s very troubling to me,” he said.

He said county officials are looking into hiring additional security staff for courtrooms.

“This is a major concern,” Commissioner Tony Mussare added. “It’s at the point where we need to do something about this.”

Lycoming County Sheriff Mark Lusk said there has actually been a 30 percent increase in attempts to bring weapons to the courthouse.

The solution, Mussare noted, may be to hire part-time staff for additional security.

It was noted that at least two shootings have occurred in the state at district courtrooms in the past year.

In December, a man shot himself in the head while in the waiting room of a courtroom in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County.

Last summer, a man was gunned down by a Delaware County constable after trying to wrestle a police officer’s handgun away from him.

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