Report: Courthouse Fatality Highlights Need for Greater Security

A former city manager unhappy about his property taxes was shot fatally after brandishing a handgun and firing it at an Iowa county assessor, and missing, at a meeting of the Jackson County board of supervisors. The shooting inside the Jackson County Courthouse drew attention to a greater need for courthouse security.

The Quad City Times reported that of all courthouses in the 7th Judicial District, only the Jackson County Courthouse in Maquoketa  “does not house either a metal detector or an armed bailiff” for security.

There was a struggle after Francis Glaser shot at the county assessor and missed, and Glaser was struck by a bullet from the same firearm, according to the Des Moines Register. If a properly enforced courthouse security plan were in place, the fatal shooting could have been prevented, said Joe Feller, president of the Iowa State Bar Association.

“The days of saying this will not happen in my community are over. Basic security measures need to be implemented in all courthouses statewide,” Feller added.

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