Erie County Sheriff Reacts to Delaware Courthouse Shooting - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Erie County Sheriff Reacts to Delaware Courthouse Shooting

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Erie County Sheriff Bob Merski has been responsible for security at the county courthouse since the September 11 terror attacks.  He reacted Monday to news of a security breach and shooting incident at a Delaware courthouse that ended with three people dead and two guards wounded. 

 Everyone who enters the Erie County Courthouse passes through a security check point with a metal detector.  Merski said the Delaware incident reinforces just how important those security measures are.  He also praised his deputies who staff the courthouse doors. "Those people are at risk up there and I don't think they're appreciated as much as they should be," said Merski. 

Officers who run the screening operation in Erie train regularly and give input on improvements. They often confiscate items from pocket knives and box cutters to mace on a key chain. But the job is about more than metal detectors. "More than scissors and knives we hold onto, it's more of the people's demeanor that come in," said Cpl.. Anthony Bowers.  "We try to see if they're angry or upset when they come in, that's more of a key to us than what they're carrying."

Sheriff Merski makes sure those who run the security checkpoint train twice yearly and he takes their input on recommendations for improvement.  They recently installed new doors and Merski would like to add bullet-proof glass in front of the security desk inside the front doors.  The courts make sure the deputies are advised when trials are underway where there could be a volatile situation.

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