Security at new Arundel courthouse will cost


The Anne Arundel County sheriff says he will need four times as many deputies to guard the county's new Circuit Courthouse -- despite its high-tech surveillance cameras, X-ray machines and security conscious design -- than he needs for the aging facility it will replace.

Sheriff George F. Johnson said he will need 22 more deputies to guard the courts building when it opens in December 1996. The cost to taxpayers -- $1 million.

Seven deputies now guard the 171-year-old Circuit Court building on Church Circle in Annapolis.

"It's pretty obvious you just can't do it with the people we have over there," Sheriff Johnson said.

County Executive John G. Gary said the need for additional deputies is a bitter pill for an administration already wrestling with voter-imposed tax limits and pending cuts in state aid. The announcement is all the harder to take, he said, because officials initially believed the high-tech security measures at the $62.3 million courthouse would reduce manpower needs, not increase them.

"I guess you can say this is the price you pay for progress," Mr. Gary said. "He's going to have to have a major increase in his budget."

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