More security after courthouse shooting


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 1 at 1:07 AM

TRAVIS COUNTY -- As news of the Kaufman County Courthouse shooting spread, security at the Travis County Courthouse was tight, as usual.

“It puts us on high alert,” said Chief Dawn McLean with the Travis County District Attorney’s office.

Nineteen armed investigators are in charge of protecting District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg and her 87 assistant district attorneys.

“We train annually in active shooter for these types of situations," said McLean, responding to Thursday’s shooting near Dallas.

“Heightened security goes up, and that just makes us more prone to have regular training, and cross train, so this does not occur in Travis County," McLean told KVUE.

She could not elaborate on all of their safety precautions for privacy reasons, but said protection for Travis County prosecutors extends beyond the courthouse metal detectors.

Prosecutors with concealed-carry licenses may also be armed, and since the jail is located next to the courthouse, "there are deputies on duty around the clock,” McLean said.

However, the death of Kaufman County ADA Mark Hasse is a reminder to prosecutors that no matter how many precautions they may take, violence still occurs, and the shooter has not been caught.

“We're going to find you, we're going to pull you out of whatever hole you're in, we're going to bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law," said Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

In Travis County, Thursday’s violence reinforced the need for armed protection already in place.

“It makes us go ahead and make sure that we are taking every measure possible to make sure that everybody goes home safely,” McLean said.


Featured Videos Video
More Video