Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1566, the Local Courthouse Safety Act. This legislation would provide local law enforcement with access to training, surplus equipment and resources to improve security at courthouses.
Over the last five years, there has been almost one shooting per month at local courthouses across the country, including in my home state of Texas. Security at local courthouses is too often inadequate, especially in rural and suburban areas where access to security training, equipment and resources are limited. As a result, local law enforcement officers, court personnel and members of the community are put in unnecessary danger.
“As a former Judge, I know that activity in local courthouses is often unpredictable,” said Rep. Poe. “Unfortunately, too many local governments around the country lack the resources needed to keep these buildings safe. That is one reason why we have seen a rise in attacks in courthouses across the nation. This legislation provides local law enforcement entities with access to surplus federal security equipment, such as metal detectors and screening devices, and authorizes a training program for law enforcement agencies to help prevent and respond to violence.