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      Security improvements may come to Marquette County Courthouse

      After a request was made by County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi to improve security within the courthouse, a meeting was conducted for the Courthouse Security Committee, as a whole, to review previous security measures and discuss new options.

      "We are going to inventory some of the concerns that people have these days. We didn't get into that inventory today, but I think that will involve future work from the committee," said Judge Thomas Solka of the Marquette County Circuit Court.

      Under State Court Administrative Office Guidelines, courts must review court security practices every few years to ensure up-to-date procedures and measures are being taken. The last meeting was in 2005.

      According to current security measures, there are two armed officers in each courtroom whenever a case is in progress. But some are looking to change that.

      The courthouse does have cameras installed in numerous places, which are watched constantly as well. However, Defense Lawyer Karl Numinen says Marquette is the only courtroom he has ever been in that does not have a screening metal detector.

      "It's not unusual for people to react strongly to decisions made or the testimony being given, and those are the times when people might be assaulted in their reactions. And with no court room security or screening, there's really no way to prevent somebody from bringing in a weapon," said Numinen.

      "I actually think that they don't need it--more armed officers. I think it'd be, not necessarily, a waste of money, but I think two is enough. Especially with the crime rate being as low as it is in Marquette. So I don't think they need it," said Marquette resident, Candice Bonner.

      The committee says they expect the improved security option will require a number of monthly meetings in order to make a properly informed and thorough decision.