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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 11:12 pm | Fair 49º


Security Changes In the Works for Santa Barbara County Superior Courthouse

Security areas at the Figueroa Building will move from outside the individual courtrooms where they are now to the entrance atrium

Set aside a little extra time to pay that traffic ticket, as everyone entering the Figueroa Building of the Santa Barbara County Superior Courthouse will have to go through security starting in a few weeks.

The entrance atrium has been closed in and split into two security areas with metal detectors and scanners to look through purses and other belongings — one side for county court personnel and the other for the general public.

Courts contract with private security companies and have Sheriff’s Department bailiffs monitor county jail inmates and the courtrooms.

Members of the private security company man the metal detectors outside the individual courtrooms now but will move to the atrium area in a few weeks. They’re not allowed to carry weapons, one told Noozhawk, though they can buy their own bulletproof vests now that they’ll be the first line of security for the entire building.

The California Judicial Branch has its eye on two Santa Barbara properties for a $151 million new courthouse, including the 1025 Santa Barbara St. Hayward properties and the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District-owned property on Calle Real.

One of the properties will be chosen this year, but construction isn’t likely to begin for three years.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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