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Ask The Times: Why can Hall County Courthouse employees bypass the metal detectors?
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Hall County Deputy Rafael Santiago sends items through a scanner Friday, April 26, 2019, at the Hall County Courthouse security checkpoint. All visitors to the courthouse must go through security before entering the rest of the building. - photo by Scott Rogers

If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by a reader and answered through the efforts of our news staff.


Why are Hall County Courthouse employees allowed to bypass or not be stopped by deputies when passing through the metal detectors?

Derrek Booth, the public information officer at Hall County Sheriff’s Office, said security at government facilities changed greatly following 9/11.

He said this resulted in the presence of Hall County Sheriff’s Office personnel and increased security technology at the courthouse. 

To keep those who work and visit the courthouse safe, they must undergo a screening process which includes the removal of belts and emptying of pockets. 

While the right line at the screening is reserved for visitors, the left serves as the employee entrance. 

Booth said in most cases the personnel can simply show their county-issued ID and pass without stopping.

“Candidates for employment are all subject to and must pass a background check and drug screening before being offered a position with the county,” he said. “As county employees who work at the courthouse, these individuals have been vetted during the hiring process.”

The people who use the left line include court staffers, members of the Hall County Public Defender’s office and certified peace officers. 

Several times a year, Booth said the Sheriff’s Office Court Services Division will turn on the screening equipment in both lines, requiring even the employees to go through the process. 


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Hall County Deputy Rafael Santiago sends items through a scanner Friday, April 26, 2019, at the Hall County Courthouse security checkpoint. All visitors to the courthouse must go through security before entering the rest of the building. - photo by Scott Rogers
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