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  Posted on: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Federal Bill Takes Aim at Courthouse Safety
A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Al Franken to improve courthouse safety is moving onto the Senate after clearing a committee last week. The Local Courthouse Safety Act was introduced in response to a December courthouse shooting in Cook County, in which a man is accused of bringing a gun into the courthouse and opening fire on a prosecutor, witness and bailiff. The incident brought increased awareness for courtroom safety across the state, and many counties, including Mower County, have since implemented heightened security measures. "Our local sheriffs, judges, and other court personnel, as well as the public, should be able to carry on business in our local courthouses knowing they are safe," said Franken, D-Minn., in a news release. "My legislation will give courthouses the resources they need to keep people safe, and I'm pleased that it will move to the Senate floor. I'll continue fighting to make sure every Minnesotan's day in court is safe." The law would address security concerns by providing local courts with access to security training and allowing states to use existing grant money to improve courthouse security.
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