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FORT PIERCE — Treasure Coast judges fear for their safety in the wake of the Orlando shooting rampage by G4S security guard Omar Mateen, who did stints guarding the county courthouses in St. Lucie and Indian River, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said Friday.
The judges want sheriff’s deputies to handle all security at the St. Lucie courthouses, as they do in Martin County, Mascara said after meeting with Chief Judge Elizabeth Metzger Monday. Deputies currently are stationed in St. Lucie and Indian River courtrooms while G4S security guards are stationed at the metal detectors at the entrances to the court buildings.
Mascara and Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said they are satisfied with G4S’ service and employees, but will consider replacing the private security guards with deputies. There are eight or nine G4S guards in the Fort Pierce and St. Lucie West courthouses, and two in Vero Beach, both of whom have worked there for a decade.
Loar said Metzger hasn’t raised any issues with the G4S security guards at the Indian River County Courthouse and it was unclear how she feels about security there.
Replacing G4S with deputies would cost St. Lucie $200,000 more and Indian River $60,000 more than the respective $377,000 and $86,000 the sheriffs are paying G4S this year.
Loar said his staff had considered replacing G4S with deputies three months before Mateen’s shooting spree — but didn’t specify why — and are more likely to do so now.
Read the full article Investigation: Treasure Coast judges want G4S security guards removed from courthouses here.
G4S plc (formerly Group 4 Securicor) is a British multinational security services company headquartered in central London.It is the world’s largest security company measured by revenues and has operations in around 125 countries. With 618,000 employees, it is world’s third largest private employer, the largest European and African private employer, and among the largest on the London Stock Exchange. G4S was founded in 2004 by the merger of the UK-based Securicor plc with the Denmark-based Group 4 Falck.