The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 8, 2013

Shootings make DAs more alert to safety

NORMAN — Next to front-line police officers and sheriff’s deputies, Oklahoma District Attorneys are where the rubber meets the road in terms of public safety. The elected DAs and their assistants and investigators make daily decisions on criminal charges.

That makes the shooting deaths of a Texas District Attorney and his wife and a prosecutor in his office even more chilling. Oklahoma district attorneys are trying to think of ways to better protect themselves and their staffs.

Cleveland County DA Greg Mashburn told an Oklahoma City newspaper that an assessment may be needed to determine the best way to protect prosecutors.

Many of the District Attorneys have been trained and can legally carry weapons.

But elected officials can be a soft target for criminals. Courthouses in larger counties have been equipped with metal detectors and have security deputies in most proceedings but rural areas are not always as protected.

Our own county has had its share of problems. A person carried a loaded handgun into the DA’s office a few years back. Also, a sheriff’s deputy was stabbed with a box knife by a man who had just been ordered back to prison.

DAs will hold their annual meeting in Oklahoma City next month. If a session on safety wasn’t already on the agenda, it will be now.

 

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