What Is the Value of Life?

What is the value of life? That was the question offered by the chairman when some of the commissioners refused to give a blank check to the judicial system for a new courthouse. I ask, what is the value of security if what we have isn’t followed?

You may remember Brian Nichols, the Atlanta Courthouse Killer; after this tragedy, courthouse security became a really big deal. In fact, it is even codified in law: “It is the duty of the sheriff to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for the security of the county courthouse and any courthouse annex. Prior to the implementation of any security plan, the plan shall be submitted to the chief judge of the superior court of the circuit wherein the courthouse or courthouse annex is located for review…” (O.C.G.A. § 15-16-10(a)(10)). This might be why the Chief Judge, C. Andrew Fuller, has no less than 5 security door cards: 633, 825, 826, 870, and 973. Now, C. Andrew Fuller isn’t the only judge with multiple cards: Judge Deal has at least 3 and Judge Gosselin has at least 2.

Why do these judges have so many cards? Maybe they keep an extra in their car? There seems to be some lax use of the rules. The first problem is that I see is that the key card policy says that all keys are supposed to be clearly identified. If so, who is 544, Card Spare, or 558/806, SPARE SPARE, or 856, Court Spare, or 857, Office Spare or…..? I wouldn’t consider those clearly identified; oh, and they are being used.

So don’t come to the tax payer asking for private parking and private elevators if you are going to give a security card to just about anyone who is in with the cool crowd. How about eliminating the security cards as a perk and using them for security?

Your friend,

Commissioner Chuck

  4 comments for “What Is the Value of Life?

  1. Michael Justice
    August 3, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Typical. Government in action.

  2. GT183
    August 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Chuck, I seem to remember a courthouse employee, maybe an assistant DA or assistant solicitor that was recently fired for bringing a gun into the courthouse that was in his briefcase. I don’t remember the details, but I think it was before this editorial: http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/archives/107688/.

    I think every large organization develops clicks and informal clubs. It would be a shame if security or lack thereof would be a benefit from belonging to an informal group. There might be a good sociology case study in door card ownership sitting right here in Gainesville.

    • August 3, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      I remember hearing about the firing, but I don’t think it was reported. Instead of a case study, maybe a reality TV show.

  3. John Citizen
    August 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    One oddity I have observed at the Court House is police officers/deputies/investigators checking in their duty weapons before they enter. Wouldn’t these sworn police officers add to the security of the court house. The officers who work the court house seem nice, but I can’t imagine court house workers are the cream of the crop. What would you rather have, a SWAT officer providing your defense, or a courthouse worker?

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