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Courthouse security training found lacking

Associated Press / November 20, 2010

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WASHINGTON — Security training at some federal courthouses is so ineffective that it took almost eight years for some security officers to learn how to turn on X-ray machine software that would detect guns and explosives, a Justice Department audit of courthouse security operations said yesterday.

In the meantime, fake bombs hidden in packages and at least one gun stashed in a lawyer’s bag went unnoticed at security checkpoints last year.

The security lapses and potential threats, the inspector general’s audit said, are largely because of a lack of training on basic equipment, including X-ray machines and metal detectors, and lax oversight by the US Marshals Service.

The audit said court security officers are routinely put on the job before finishing a three-day training course.

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