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Marathon County judges ask for more courtroom security

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Marathon County Courthouse. Image taken 6/16/2011.
Marathon County Courthouse. Image taken 6/16/2011.

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - While a Marathon County panel studies jail safety, one of the county's judges says security in the courthouse needs improvement as well.

Judge Mike Moran spoke at the independant jail safety panel on Tuesday, calling for more officers to help out in the courts. There are currently two full time officers working to secure the rest of the courthouse, and Moran says that's sometimes not enough. "We used to transport lots of people at a time. I've seen 6, 7, 8 people being transported by one jail staff. And you can see the problem there."

Moran also says that the severity of cases being brought forward to the courts is troubling. "We're working with a lot more heroin cases, major drug cases in the county." He says the county is doing its best to cover major cases and security but that resources are strained.

Moran's solution is to hire part time officers as courthouse security. "We're talking about the transport and movement of inmates through the courthouse, and that would help."  His suggestion is to hire retired police or deputies, who are already cleared to carry weapons and sworn as peace officers.  

The measure has already been brought to the county's own jail security committee.

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