Officials Discuss Lack of Security at Grays Harbor County Court

Posted on Apr 24, 2012
Many say that the lack of security at Grays Harbor County Superior Court in Washington State was an issue even before the recent incident there in which a judge was stabbed and a Sheriff’s deputy was shot. In fact, judges at the courthouse had filed a lawsuit against the Board of Commissioners that claimed budget cuts had reached dangerous levels.

While surrounding Washington counties boast metal detectors, security cameras, and more safety personnel, the Montesano courthouse and its staff were largely not protected. In the two years before this most recent incident, two attorneys had been attacked, one judge had been threatened, and another judge was not protected after a death threat.

In the most recent case, 34-year-old Steven Daniel Kravetz was able to bring a knife into the courthouse and gain access to a judge. The man, who has a history of domestic violence charges, was able to harm two people and escape the premises – all while not being caught on tape because of the absence of security cameras.

Authorities worry that a lack of security is a huge problem, especially in courthouses that sees divorce proceedings, domestic violence cases, child custody cases, and other family law cases. In 1994, a Seattle man shot his pregnant wife and two other women during divorce proceedings.

While no specific laws exist regarding Washington State courtroom security, a statewide committee has found in the past that all court entrances should have a security screening.

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