Courthouses across the United States face unprecedented levels of violence committed against judges, lawyers, staff and citizens. The Center for Judicial and Executive Security (CJES) discovered court-targeted violence increased from 10 incidents in 2005 to 67 incidents in 2011, and this trend continues its upward trajectory. These acts of court-targeted violence are preventable though, and they require instituting effective courthouse security plans that incorporate X-ray scanners as their safety focal point.

Courthouse Security and X-ray Scanners

Why X-rays?

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) uncovered this startling statistic – 26% of courthouses do not have a screening station. No courthouse screening station is basically the same as an open-door security policy – anyone and anything is allowed to enter the facility. A proper security plan includes procedures for scanning both people and packages coming into the courthouse. Unfortunately, 88% of courts do not screen their mail or packages. The straightforward fix to this crisis is for courthouses to install X-ray scanners as their main screening tool.

When compared to other security systems, X-ray scanners are the most efficient, versatile and cost effective option. A single X-ray scanner reduces the time it takes for people to enter a courthouse. This higher throughput (when compared to other screening methods) helps reduce bottlenecks at courthouse entrances. X-ray scanners are also more thorough inspection tools than metal detectors. Metal detectors only alert the operator to the presence of metal objects, while X-ray scanners also detect inorganic threats such as explosives. Lastly, properly calibrated X-ray scanners have a lower fail rate than metal detectors, resulting in fewer missed threats.

Not only is X-ray screening the best courthouse security tool but it is also the most cost effective. Granted, X-ray systems have a higher initial cost when compared to physical screening and metal detectors. However, these systems over time will save courthouses money. To help offset those initial costs, we are proud to offer GSA pricing on qualified units to help ensure your courthouse gets the most competitive price.

The Astrophysics Inc. Advantage

Whether a courthouse is in a metropolis or rural setting, we have X-ray solutions for every security need. Take for example the XIS-6040M, designed for use at multiple stations or narrow entrances. The XIS-6040M comes equipped with heavy duty wheels and steering handles for easy relocation, and its small frame allows for deployment at small or narrow entrances.

We also offer dual view scanners that provide operators with more comprehensive X-ray images. The XIS-6545DV’s dual X-ray generators create two unique viewing angles that operators can manipulate independently. Our advanced 6 Color Imaging and Material Discrimination tools can then be applied to images for unparalleled threat identification.

If your courthouse has a different set of security requirements, our knowledgeable sales staff will work with you to develop the perfect X-ray solution.

Putting A Security Plan into Action

X-ray scanners are not the only component of an effective courthouse security plan, but they should be the focal point. Plans must be developed by a security committee that meets on a regular basis and organizes the security plan. No plan is effective unless security officers have the proper training though. NCSC states that 24% of courts assessed have limited to no court specific training for security officers. A security plan paired with the right X-ray tools and proper training are the building blocks for effective courthouse security.

Astrophysics Inc. has a variety of X-ray scanners that can serve as your security plan’s focal point. Contact our knowledgeable sales staff to place an X-ray order, or download our courthouse security brochure for more information about our available systems.