WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — After a series of mass acts of violence across the country, the Winchester-Frederick County courthouse decided to increase security.
“Just recently law enforcement proactively stopped three incidents from becoming tragedies and we just want to make this courthouse a safer place,” said Winchester City Sheriff Les Taylor.
Now all attorneys entering the courthouse, except for prosecutors, have to go through security.
“In the interest of safety and courthouse security, if you’re going to screen lawyers, should screen all of them,” said personal injury and criminal defense lawyer Beau Correll.
Under Virginia state aw commonwealth attorneys are law enforcement by the code of Virginia and Sheriff Les Taylor says they are allowed to bring guns inside the courthouse.
“We were letting city employees and county employees in here without being checked as well. But that has stopped as well. They are being checked alongside the defense attorneys,” said Taylor.
The main goal is to prevent any weapons from entering the courthouse that do not belong to law enforcement officials.
“Attorneys already have to pass a background check initially and there are certain measures in place to make certain attorneys aren’t criminals,” said Correll.
Taylor says he plans to keep this policy in place to ensure that everyone who enters the courthouse is safe.