Letters to the Editor: May 9 – 15, 2013

Questions ‘Court Security’ Issue at City Hall


In an article in your May 2-9 edition regarding South Washington Street Development, you discussed plans to renovate or build a new City Hall. In that article, one of the justifications for these plans was that “court security is woefully lacking there.”

This statement is misleading and does not represent my experiences of over 31 years in that court. I also do not believe it represents the opinion of the current users of the Courtroom. If your statement is designed to indicate the difficulties of holding court (with some defendants in a custodial situation) in a building designed to serve as a City Hall, I agree.

I disagree if this statement in any way is directed at the men and women of the Falls Church Sheriff’s Office. Each week several paid Deputies, and many more volunteer Deputies, insure the safety of all who attend court in Council Chambers. They strive each week to overcome the physical limitations imposed upon them, by a building that is serving a role it was never designed for, while doing it in a courteous and professional manner.

In addition, a Security Committee consisting of a judge, members of the Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, the Court’s Clerk’s Office and other City agencies, regularly meet to discuss ways to improve the security of this building. To describe security as “woefully lacking” completely disregards their efforts to improve the security of the building while striking a balance with the public that uses it.

Thomas J. Kelley, Jr.

Via the Internet 

(Editor replies — No one has suggested in any of the conversations about this, that the work of the F.C. Sheriff’s Department has been anything but exemplary.)

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