Guns in courthouse, not in courtrooms

Officers still allowed to carry guns inside building

On Friday, an email went out to local law enforcement agencies that guns may not be allowed in the Judicial Building as a whole located in downtown Albany.

"They were concerned that there might be too many weapons on too many people in the courthouse particularly the courtroom," said Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul.

Sproul says this morning revisions were made to that policy to change it back to the original state - where only officers authorized by the Sheriff's Department will be allowed to carry a weapon into courtrooms. Sproul also says key cards, gates, and lock boxes are in place for security reasons.

"Now the officer who visits from another county or a surrounding law enforcement agency can check in through the front door just like you an everybody else can, and if they're carrying a weapon they can secure it in the box go up to court handle their court in session and then come back and get their weapon and leave," said Sproul.

Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek says while he's not thrilled about the idea of unarming officers, he saw both sides to the issue.

"I fully believe that we should not have weapons in the courtroom or that they should be controlled by the people providing courtroom security, but to go to other functions to and from the judicial building, there are a lot of functions that we're down there not involved in a court room setting," said Cheek.

Cheek says some of those functions are getting warrants signed, meetings with the District Attorney, or going to the information and technology office.