Court Security

Chief judge wants more security at courthouse where shooting occurred during government meeting

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More than a year after an armed man fired a shot during a meeting at an Iowa courthouse and then killed himself during an ensuing struggle, the Jackson County courthouse still has no armed bailiff regularly on duty.

But Chief 7th Judicial District Judge Marlita Greve hopes that will soon change, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports.

She is asking the county sheriff’s office to provide an armed deputy or bailiff throughout the day each Friday, while district court is in session. Plus, as of March 1, Greve wants coverage at all times when a judge or magistrate is in the courthouse.

Although there is no plan to install a metal detector, Greve wants all courthouse doors except one closed to the public.

In addition to the September 2014 courthouse shooting by Francis “Gus” Glaser, 71, the chief judge cited an incident involving another female judge and a man involved in a case of domestic assault with a weapon. Escorted to the judge’s chambers by a deputy, the man was then left alone with the judge. While nothing happened, the judge was uncomfortable about the situation.

“Jackson County is the top third in the state for activity in a courthouse,” Greve told the newspaper. “There are a significant number filings in the court. We are dealing with defendants and emotionally charged issues. You can’t say it won’t ever happen again.”

Related coverage: “Courthouse shooter is tackled by county official, dies at scene”

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