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October 28, 2011

DHS and DOJ Must Work Together to Improve Courthouse Security

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the statement below in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on federal courthouse security. The report, entitled Federal Courthouses: Improved Collaboration Needed to Meet Demands of a Complex Security Environment (GAO-11-857), was undertaken in response to the Congressman's request. It found that additional steps should be taken to improve courthouse security. Many government entities, including the Federal Protective Service, the General Services Administration, the US Marshals, and the Judiciary, play a role in courthouse security.

"With an increasing number of high profile terrorism related cases handled at our nation's 424 federal courthouses, there is clearly more that can be done to protect this unique environment. While there have been no major security incidents, threats against the courts have more than doubled over the past six years. I urge the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department to update cross-agency security protocols to increase efficiency and remove duplicative efforts and fragmented roles."

Link to Report (GAO-11-857)

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978