Employees, attorneys must now go through security screening at Va. Beach courthouse

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — About 10,000 people come through the Virginia Beach courthouse on a weekly basis. Now the process to get in may take longer, but it’s all in the name of safety.

“Everybody understands the need for safety with the city buildings when they come and do business here, and that’s what we are trying to do it, just make it as safe as possible for everyone here,” said Capt. Alvie Culanding with the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office.

As of Monday, only sworn public officers on official business are exempt from security screening.

That means the nearly 450 court employees, on top of attorneys working cases, will be stopped and screened.

Culanding says safety is especially crucial at a courthouse because people deal with things that involve a lot of emotion, like paying fines.

He says the mass shooting on May 31 proved the change would be a step in the right direction. 

“What the shooting did that really tragic day what that did was it really reinforced what we’re trying to do here as far as the safety and security of the citizens and anyone doing business here in the court house especially in the city in general,” he said.

This new security measure comes after a threat assessment back in 2017, and is based on the results from it.

A handful more of security screeners and deputies were brought in to keep the process running smoothly, but you should still prepare.

“It’s no different then TSA when you go to the airport. Give yourself some time, leave those items you know you’re not supposed to bring. Leave them at home,” he explained.

So far they’ve gotten some feedback into separating the lines, one for attorneys and employees, the other for the public. That’s something they’re looking into.Also down the road they say they may close every entrance and just have this one main entrance for employees.

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