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  • Court Security??

    I am doing a research project regarding the installation of security doors in the courtrooms of the courthouse I work at. What I hope to do is find a solution that encompasses securing the courtroom's back doors that lead into a restricted hallway where all the judge's offices and court staff work. Of course, these doors already have locking devices but utilizing them would require turning a key that only the deputies posses each and every time you want to enter/exit. I am toying with the idea of using an electromagnetic system. I am looking for info. from any deputies or court security officers who may have security doors installed or may have researched this idea also. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    "I know, I know...we're all innocent!"

  • #2
    Oh boy, wait until Lt. Explorer reads this thread, lol
    Well life is too short so love the one ya got cuz ya might get run over or ya might get shot.

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    • #3
      our dispatch is in the courthouse. We use the push-button numeric locks. Same setup at my PD. In the SO it's the newer electronic combination pads, and the pass-number is changed monthly.

      It's easy, keyless, fairly cheap, and reliable.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by letshearit4blue
        Oh boy, wait until Lt. Explorer reads this thread, lol
        Yeah, I just cannot fathom how something so mundane and repetitive could be so intriguing and exciting to someone who is wanting into Law Enforcement. You would think that person would want the streets and action in lieu of being a babysitter lol.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          How about using hand geometry instead of a lock that needs to be replaced everytime somebody leaves. With hand geometry you have an ID card with your picture on it and a magnetic strip on the back. When you swipe the card it energizes the hand geometry station which you put your hand in and if your hand doesn't match the program then you are denied entrance. It works very well at Nuke plants and some Telecoms. When somebody leaves you just cancel their card. An added benifit is that you can have selctive entrance levels and change security entrance levels easily to get in different parts of the building. When somebodies card gets stolen it becomes useless because the thief wouldn't have the same hand geometry.

          Yea, I'm a geek

          PK
          "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

          For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by goober
            our dispatch is in the courthouse. We use the push-button numeric locks. Same setup at my PD. In the SO it's the newer electronic combination pads, and the pass-number is changed monthly.

            It's easy, keyless, fairly cheap, and reliable.

            Yup.. When I was in the military, there were specific classified areas that were locked up. No keys needed.. It was a box you slid your hand into, that had 4 flat toggle/rocker type switches in it. Each switch had 3 positions. Forward, middle, and back. You had to flip them in a certain order to unlock the door..
            Even if someone was standing next to you, they could not see inside the box with while your hand was in it. Each time you flipped a switch, it would return to its center position immediatly.
            The process to unlock the door took about 2 seconds once you got used to using it. It would take the newbies about 10 seconds but after a few days, they too would be able to flip them in less than 3.. Faster than a key, faster than sliding a magnetic card even and there is nothing to keep with you. In the 3 years that I was there, it never broke even once and the door I was using was used every many many times a day.

            It worked great..

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            • #7
              Several options...

              As mentioned, push button combo locks, swipe cards, biometric devices. Also might consider a "proximity card" system. (Not sure of real/technical name) Basically it's a card maybe 1.5 or 2 times thicker than regular credit card, has (I think) RFID device inside. Just place card in close proximity to a reader to operate lock. Used at Philly's criminal courts, at least one local suburban PD, and the college I attended. (Where I work now is swipe cards w/ mag stripe on custom ID cards)

              Each card can be individually turned off like a swipe card could. Really, it's same as a swipe card but there's no 'swipe' motion involved. I remember my college dorm I could leave the card in a thick wallet in my back pocket, just put my butt cheek near the reader, and door would open. Great for having your hands full or plain laziness. I would expect that if you already have ID cards, and don't want to reformat/change them, this might suit you better. OR, change format of ID card, add a magnetic stripe, and go the swipe card route.

              Funny aside: Philadelphia Eagles' practice facility uses a setup like that pkagel describes. Scary that they're more secure than the courthouse here.

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              • #8
                Depending on how secure the carried component will be (Can it be taken away by force? Can it be lost or stolen?) I'd go with RFID proximity cards. I'd also have electromagnetic locks with 600 foot pounds of force holding them closed. Makes it harder for someone to breach the door by kicking it out.

                Biometrics are good when the threat level is high enough to preclude using a passive key, like a swipe card. However, hand biometrics can be defeated. I suggest going to Sony's biometrics website, they have a paper on why Retina-Scan systems are cheaper and more reliable.

                Also, the military codeboxes that RobSlig talked about are nice.

                If you have a monitoring station somewhere in the building, install magnetic deadbolts on seperate circuits to prevent a hostage-taker from gaining access to secure areas by forcing the hostage to open active or passive locks. Something bad goes down, the central monitoring station throws the deadbolt switches, securing the door(s). This is approaching "Woah," of course, but then, it depends on your threat level.
                N. A. Corbier
                Moderator, SecurityInfoWatch Forums
                Visiting Commando Leader

                If you work in private security, feel free to register on Officer.com's sister site for security, forums.securityinfowatch.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Deputymyke
                  I am doing a research project regarding the installation of security doors in the courtrooms of the courthouse I work at. What I hope to do is find a solution that encompasses securing the courtroom's back doors that lead into a restricted hallway where all the judge's offices and court staff work. Of course, these doors already have locking devices but utilizing them would require turning a key that only the deputies posses each and every time you want to enter/exit. I am toying with the idea of using an electromagnetic system. I am looking for info. from any deputies or court security officers who may have security doors installed or may have researched this idea also. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
                  Wow where have you been? I happen to know a thing or too. The SO I work with has a system like this installed, however it is only in the secure hallway. All doors to court rooms etc. are lock and key. Court security is not taken lightly here, about 15 years ago the court deputies had no duty gear except for a pair of handcuffs and a key holder. And yes they wore a duty belt because they had so many keys!!! Having this system will not only better response time to an emergency in this important part of a court facility, but will also lessen the weight of a duty belt.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ZGXtreme
                    Yeah, I just cannot fathom how something so mundane and repetitive could be so intriguing and exciting to someone who is wanting into Law Enforcement. You would think that person would want the streets and action in lieu of being a babysitter lol.
                    cant really say that anymore,, seems the growing trend is for all hell to break loose at the courts.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gotthblues
                      cant really say that anymore,, seems the growing trend is for all hell to break loose at the courts.
                      Eh... got a point... same thing with New~Awlins... who'd a thunk we'd have our very own Fallujah in the States!
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ZGXtreme
                        Eh... got a point... same thing with New~Awlins... who'd a thunk we'd have our very own Fallujah in the States!
                        SEE WHY COURT SECURITY IS SO IMPORTANT. THATS WHY WE DON'T HAVE SECURITY GUARDS DOING THE JOB

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LT. EXPLORER
                          SEE WHY COURT SECURITY IS SO IMPORTANT. THATS WHY WE DON'T HAVE SECURITY GUARDS DOING THE JOB
                          LoL, I wasn't exacly agreeing Explorer... was just making another point about New Orleans.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Great ideas!

                            Thank you all for the info. so far. I have been noting it all and I anticipate more to come in. Just for info., I have steered away from the proximity card idea because upper management is hoping for some sort of hands free solution. Our facility has an exsisting prox-card system in place for restricted access areas and some entrances into the courthouse. Their arguement was that the cards are lost too often and some temporary personnel are not issued prox-cards at all. This would prevent their access to the courtrooms and most of the temps are fill-in clerks or student-workers.

                            Without writing a novel, the incident that brought this project to my attention was when a member of the general public walked through an unattended courtroom and straight into the "employee only" area of our courthouse. I guess the clerk was expecting a courier to drop in and unlocked the front courtroom doors. Without thinking she left the courtroom and then some lady who was looking for a court reporter "innocently" wandered into the back hallway with her child. She was confronted by the first employee who came in contact with her and escorted out of the area. But it rose a big stink due to the breach of security. So as the designated Security Deputy I was tasked with changing a design that has been in effect since the courts have been operating. Thanks again to everyone for all your help!
                            "I know, I know...we're all innocent!"

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