Orlando nightclub shooting helps prompt review of courthouse security

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga formed a panel Monday which could work for as much as two years on examining courthouse security across the state.

Labarga said the move was inspired, in part, by the massacre in June at an Orlando nightclub. The shooter, Omar Mateen, formerly was employed by G4S, the global security firm, and had worked at courthouse facilities in downtown Fort Pierce.

“We want to move ahead quickly on this issue – and stay ahead,” said Labarga, a former Palm Beach County judge, prosecutor and public defender. “There can be no question of its urgency. It is underscored by the shock, fear, and grief we all have witnessed and experienced this long summer.”

The Trial Courthouse Security Workgroup formed by Labarga will include chief judges from eight judicial circuits, two attorneys and a staff member from the Office of State Courts Administrator. Those named to the workgroup have agreed to serve for two years, Labarga said.

Leading the panel will be Margaret Steinbeck, a judge in Southwest Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.

“The workgroup will help advance the mission of the judicial branch and increase current levels of safety for all those who use our courthouses, from Pensacola to Key West,” Labarga said.

Reader Comments 0

0 comments