PAULDING – Paulding County deputies will implement full-time courthouse security in the Paulding County Annex building beginning Monday, April 24.

The annex is located at 201 E. Caroline St.

The hours for the public to access the building, which houses the County Court, Victim Services, Law Library and Child Support Enforcement Agency, will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

The security changes are being made at the request of Paulding County Court Judge Suzanne Shuman Rister.

“For several weeks now, Judge Rister and I have been discussing courthouse security at her building,” said Sheriff Jason K. Landers. “Her staff was awarded a grant to purchase the necessary equipment to make it happen, and the service is expected to mirror the main courthouse security operation.

“To date, over 35,900 people have passed through the [courthouse] security desk; only 65 of those individuals required a physical pat down. Deputies held 1,476 items deemed weapons or potential weapons, which were returned to the owner upon their exiting the building,” said Sheriff Landers.

All persons entering the annex building will walk through a metal detector. Each will be required to empty their pockets and all baggage will be subject to search.

No weapons will be allowed in the courthouse nor any items deemed as a possible weapon by the deputy. Some examples of prohibited items include: firearms, knives, pepper spray and Leatherman style tools (which have knives inside). There is a system in place for deputies to hold prohibited items while people conduct their business.

Increased security measures were put into effect at the courthouse on May 2, 2016. At the time, Sheriff Landers said county officials were making the changes “to make our courthouse a safer place for our county employees to work, as well as for citizens to conduct their business.”