Rep. Sandy Adams, a seventeen year veteran of the Orange County, Florida Sheriff's office, and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation today to give federal courthouses the ability to recycle their magnetometer security devices and provide them to state and local governments. This legislation will enhance courthouse security in local municipalities without requiring the federal government to spend any additional taxpayer funds. The companion legislation in the Senate is S. 2076, which was reported unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 24, 2012.
"Federal courthouse safety has been a priority of Congress even before the Atlanta or Las Vegas shootings, tragedies which highlighted the need to enhance security of our judicial process," said Adams. "Studies show one of the best ways to stop potential attackers from entering courthouses with weapons is with the use of a magnetometer, or metal detector. Many local communities do not have the resources to purchase a new security device, so why shouldn't the federal government help recycle surplus magnetometers and improve the safety of our community courthouses? This legislation is about improving safety, putting unused government hardware to use, and does so without any additional cost to the American taxpayer."
The legislation introduced today makes available to local governments "surplus" security equipment, a definition that ensures other federal agencies have the opportunity to utilize the magnetometers first. By designating these security devices as surplus, the legislation ensures that the legislative intent to support federal security improvements is fully met before the devices are made available to state and local municipalities. The legislation also makes available existing training grants for those municipalities accepting the magnetometers, and requires a matching grant for those municipalities currently without magnetometers to accept the grant funding.