• Admin

New Study Shows State Courthouses Don't Have Enough Security

Updated: Feb 20, 2018

by Jennifer Sullivan


SEATTLE - Metal detectors greet visitors at the three King County Courthouse entrances, but a study released Monday by the Washington State Superior Court Judge’s Association says that’s far from the norm.


More than half of the state’s 39 counties don’t have security screening at their central courthouses. Courthouse personnel aren’t being trained to handle active shooters and other security-type trainings, the study said.


““You have high emotion running on the issues that are presented here in superior courts and providing that safe environment is really something we want to see happen,” said King County Superior Court Judge Sean P. O’Donnell. “Other than adoptions and marriages usually the people are coming to court because they have a conflict.”

In March, the state Supreme Court made it clear that courthouse security is a priority. In General Rule 36, the court said a “safe courthouse environment is fundamental to the administration of justice,” according to the judicial study.

After that rule was adopted, O’Donnell began surveying colleagues statewide about their workplace security.


© 2020 Washington State Superior Court Judge's Association