Dallas DA wants more security after prosecutor's murder - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dallas DA wants more security after prosecutor's murder

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Next week the district attorney will present Dallas County commissioners his plan for security for himself and prosecutors.

What happened in Kaufman last Thursday was on District Attorney Craig Watkins' mind when he spoke at Commissioner's Court. He said his 250 prosecutors have been thinking about it too.

"We've been dealing with security issues with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office for years," he said. "We have no designated parking. They park in the same parking lots with the defendants that they are prosecuting. They get on the same elevators with those individuals that they may be prosecuting that same day."

Watkins also wants commissioners to provide a security detail for his protection.

"We've received phone calls and mail as you would expect and I just thought that was par for the course. Now we have an individual who lost their life who prosecuted for years and it concerns me," he said.

"The DA and I are working together to come up with a common sense and affordable plan to keep our assistant district attorneys and our public officials and employees safe," said Judge Clay Jenkins.

That immediate plan would put armed guards in parking garages and the open parking lots that prosecutors and employees use. And although the county already spends $15.7 million on courthouse security, it would upgrade cameras, metal detectors and add more security staff.

"Security is one of those things that cost money and security is going to cost some money. But we have to balance that against the cost of not providing that security," Judge Jenkins said.

Judges, prosecutors and lawyers who have a concealed handgun license can have a weapon in the courthouse. Watkins doesn't allow his prosecutors from carrying weapons inside, but he said sheriff's deputies and bailiffs do.


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