Changes in how people enter and exit the commission room at the Blount County Court House have been instituted as of this week.
On Monday during a Budget Committee meeting, County Mayor Jerry Cunningham said a metal detector was placed a the front door to the commission room. Traffic will now flow through the front door and exit out the back, he said.
The metal detector was an item already at the courthouse and so no further expense was needed. “We plugged it in, and we were ready to go,” Cunningham said.
The shooting at a town hall near St. Louis recently that left several dead concerned the mayor. “That together with thinly veiled threats made from time to time together with folks that seem out of control and possibly could go off, I thought for everybody’s security we needed to be cautious,” he said.
The mayor said beefing up security at the commission meetings has been part of the thought process for some time. “Our risk management personnel and law enforcement have all suggested that we be more secure and it’s always better to be safe than sorry,” he said.