Pennsylvania District Judge Offices Get $4.4 Million Security Upgrade


Pennsylvania recently completed a security upgrade worth $4.4 million in 553 district judge offices, central booking and night court facilities.

In Phase One, 752 cameras were installed along with 1,433 duress alarms. These panic buttons are intended to bring police help to district judges and their employees when a situation develops.

The statea. is now entering a second phase where shatter-proof safety glass is being installed in district judge offices and booking facilities. Additional improvements are also slated, such as railings to isolate judges from defendants and chairs that will be bolted to the floor.

According to Steve Schell, communications coordinator for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, the security upgrades will include warning signs. These signs will tell the public that the area they are in is under 24-hour surveillance. The intent is to deter acts of aggression and violence.

The committee did extensive study and found that the district courts, which are really the courts on the front line of our judicial system, are housed in leased property and did not have adequate security equipment,” Schell said.

Through a competitive bidding process, ADT Security Systems was awarded the contract for security equipment. According to Schell, so far $3 million has been spent on video cameras and electronic alarm systems.

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