Belt and Coat Removal Added to Courthouse Security Measures

If you have jury duty come Monday, you may want to carefully consider what you are going to wear. Stepped up security measures call for the removal of belts and coats.

The measures are not the result of any warnings or impending threats, but rather a way to bring the Nueces County Courthouse security in line with broader national security standards. Before entering the security scanning area at the courthouse, you'll have to remove your belt and coat.

Still, the extra steps are bound to mean longer lines during peak work days at the courthouse.

"What is this going to do on Monday when we're trying to get our large jury panels quickly through security and up into the courts?" Court Administrator Anne Lorentzen said.

The new tighter security measures were put into place without much fanfare or warning, integrating the belt and jacket removal for men and women with the other standard checks, along with removing everything from pockets, the passing through metal detectors and the wanding courthouse visitors experience.

The new measures were recommended by a private contractor, Amtex, hired by the County to run its security. It was one of many measures Amtex is taking in the name of safety.

Amtex President Wesley Terry said, "this is not increased security. It's simply enhancing what we already had," adding that "they are in line with both national and international standard."


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