New security measures at regional courthouses

New security measures at regional courthouses »Play Video
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Action News knows your safety is a top priority. We uncovered major steps to improve security at our regional courthouses. That means more than a million dollars just on cameras. KEPR looked at why they're needed and where they'll go.

"I mean, I was upset. I just, like a victim. I was just really shocked," said justice center visitor, Monica Mattozzi.

And shocked is putting it lightly. Mattozzi's car window got broken into at the Benton County Justice Center parking lot. She expected safety.

"What really shocked me was that there was no cameras at the time to do anything about it," added Mattozzi.

She's relieved to know a wave of new cameras will be installed for that very reason. To hold criminals accountable.

"It's a place of law. To uphold the law," said Mattozzi.

Officials are getting ready to present a new security plan to Benton County Commissioners. Asking for nearly 300 new or improved cameras. They would be added to the main building, jail and parking lot. Two new servers would accompany the equipment. The whole package totals about $1.5 million.

"The main interest is to really enhance safety and security of our facility. To provide a higher quality data for investigators if an incident does occur," said Benton County Justice Center Safety Coordinator Bryan Perry.

Franklin County is taking similar measures. Sixty new cameras going up as a piece of the courthouse and jail expansion. One new panoramic camera will monitor the parking lot. A possible hot spot for car prowls or vandalism.

"It's important to, you know, our kids go to school and be safe, us to go into the courthouse or justice center and be able to feel comfortable and know we're being protected," stated Mattozzi.

New efforts to protect citizens like Mattozzi. And prepare for that worst-case scenario.

We also uncovered the number of weapons confiscated at both justice centers. Franklin County saw a slight dip in confiscated knives.
percent. Numbers in Benton County are steady. More than 2,000 were taken away from people this year.