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Security a Concern in Village Courts

Posted May 9, 2007 10:57 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A shooting in a Rockland County, N.Y., courtroom on Monday highlights safety issues in village and town courts.

Litigant Leo Lewis Jr., 60, was charged Tuesday with second-degree attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the New York Times. Police say he fired a shot in a Sloatsburg, N.Y., courtroom, missing both the woman he was suing and the village judge.

A court officer gave chase and also fired a missed shot at the suspect. Fewer than half of the village courts have armed officers; Sloatsburg is in the armed minority.

A plan to upgrade security in suburban and rural courts is just now being put into place, according to the Times. It allocates money for metal detectors and security reviews.

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