Police to use metal detector for station, municipal court

Published 12:22 am Monday, February 24, 2014

NATCHEZ — A metal detector is being installed at the Natchez Police Department to ensure no weapons are brought in the building, especially the Natchez Municipal courtroom.

Police Chief Danny White said after Jackson Police Detective Eric Smith was shot and killed inside police headquarters in April 2013, he decided the Natchez Police Department needed a metal detector.

“When Detective Smith was killed, it got us thinking that we needed to get one, so we could make sure anyone coming in would get scanned, and we could check and see if they had any (weapons),” White said.

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The detector, which was delivered last week, will be installed so that anyone entering the department from the front lobby to go to the municipal courtroom, records or other offices will be scanned.

The main objective of the detector, White said, is to ensure people do not carry weapons into municipal court.

The detector will likely have an officer stationed beside it, White said, based on court times. The court bailiff’s office is also beside the detector, allowing the bailiff to stop anyone who sets off the detector.

NPD also has a metal detector wand, White said, that can be used if the need arises.

The detector cost approximately $3,000, White said. NPD was originally going to purchase a detector for $5,000, but White said the department shopped around until it found a cheaper one.

Mayor Butch Brown said the detector is a good investment because it will help ensure the safety of the public and police and court personnel.

“You never who is going to be packing,” he said.