Atascosa County Judge’s Report
One of the biggest things to hit the Courts and the Schools is security and how to build defenses against the “active shooter”. Because of the horrific act in Santa Fe, Governor Abbot has convened a council and issued a report that is well worth reading. The link is gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/School_Safety_Action_Plan_05302018.pdf. I highly recommend this reading for all citizens of Texas. AACOG, in its’ Law Enforcement Training Agency has a School Marshal training and certification program and I think every school must be reevaluating the need to look at this. Please read the Abbott report. It is well done and comprehensive.
The Courthouse and its offices, especially its courts, are very vulnerable to violence and we are reviewing everything we do concerning security that is court related. Our new Justice Center will be as state of the art as we can make it for security but there are no guarantees. Complacency is not an option. We will have metal detectors in the front and holding cells in the back. Every day in the old courthouse with prisoners and defendants standing in the halls holds danger to the court personnel and all of the staff in the courthouse. That is why we have armed bailiffs, but an unexpected ‘active shooter’ out of nowhere can be overwhelming and hard to defend against. That is why we are also depending on our EMS to come up with emergency medical training in such situations for all county personnel.
This is not pleasant to talk about but very important. I want you to know the business of your county and what we have to plan for. Security is on our minds every day. Not just for the workers of the courthouse but also for the visitors.
Thanks for listening.
We want you to be proud of your County Government.
Bob Hurley is the Atascosa County Judge. You may E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org