Nation & World

Budget cuts take toll on Olympia's court security

OLYMPIA — Thurston County District Court soon is likely to have no court security officers at its main entrance to check visitors for weapons and contraband, the result of layoffs of employees to meet a budget shortfall.

Two full-time and eight part-time court security officers are being laid off, and the remaining five full-time court security officers can't cover three buildings — Thurston County Family Court on Mottman Road, and Thurston County Superior Court and Thurston County District Court, both on Lakeridge Drive.

Presiding Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Pomeroy and Thurston County Superior Court Administrator Marti Maxwell said losing the 10 security officers will result in an increased security risk for court visitors and employees. "It makes it very, very difficult to provide the level of coverage that we currently provide," Maxwell said.

Pomeroy said that women who request anti-harassment orders against stalkers have to appear for hearings in Thurston County District Court, and the decreased security presence there could have a negative effect.

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