County gets new detector

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Covington County courthouse is home to a new metal detector, purchased through Alabama Homeland Security grant funds.

The new detector, which was installed earlier this week, allows for more accessibility and easier detection of metal objects, said Sheriff Dennis Meeks.

“The old machine, was just that old and outdated,” Meeks said. “This new machine is wider and gives more accessibility for visitors. It also gives our guards the ability to target zones as it is more sensitive than the previous machine.”

It is also the same type of machine used by the Transportation Security Administration in our nation’s major airports, he said.

“It has 33 zones it searches, and pinpoints guns, knives and other flat and rod shape weapons,” he said. “It reads from head to toe and has an audible and LED alarm that notifies our guards when something is located.”

Emergency Management Agency director Kristi Stamnes notified the department of the $4,500 grant award on Jan. 2, he said.

“That money had to be spent on a detector,” he said. “It’s just another way to make our courthouse safer. It allows us to make sure the building is secure and allows our guards to give approval to access the judges, District Attorney’s office and the courtrooms upstairs, and that there is no danger.”