Courthouse security now in effect at the Marshall County courthouses in Guntersville and Albertville

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Marshall County residents are noticing something new when they go into the county courthouses in Guntersville and Albertville. After months of planning security measures are finally installed.

The new measures went into effect Monday morning. "I just want the public to realize this is for their benefit," explains Commission Chairman James Hutcheson, "This is for their safety and the employees' benefit. I realize it may be a small inconvenience to some people in Marshall County to get used to it."

Every visitor to the county courthouses is required to walk through metal detectors under the watch of two security guards. "Mainly we're looking for firearms, knives, any type of dangerous weapons that can be used to harm somebody," Hutcheson says.

These measures come with some changes. The entrance on Gunter Avenue is the only entrance that's accessible to the public through the entire day. The entrance on the other side of the courthouse is only accessible to county employees. "The front door here like I said will be open eight to 4:30 and the side door will be open 11 to 2," Hutcheson says.

The County Commission has been working on this project for the better part of a year. "I think overall most of the counties in the State have courthouse security so I think it's due time that we have it in Marshall County here," Hutcheson said.

County officials are asking the public to stay patient while they work out any issues that might arise. Some of the local legislative delegation were at the courthouse Monday morning to commemorate the start of the security.

Part of the funding for the measures came from state officials.