Security measures in place for verdict

By Scott Johnson, General assignment reporter, sjohnson@wjxt.com
Elizabeth Berry, Evening assignment manager, beth@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 13 2014 09:08:28 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 13 2014 06:40:00 PM EST

When a verdict is reached in the Michael Dunn trial, security could become an issue inside and outside of the courthouse in downtown Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

When a verdict is reached in the Michael Dunn trial, security could become an issue inside and outside of the courthouse in downtown Jacksonville.

A bomb threat was called into an unknown media outlet, saying there was a bomb in the courthouse Thursday while the jury deliberated.

The threat was unfounded, but it caused Channel 4's Scott Johnson to talk to crime analyst Ken Jefferson about what security measures are in place around the courthouse during the Dunn trial and in preparation for when the verdict is read.

Dunn's fate has already drawn protestors to the courthouse and police are preparing for any potential fallout in the area.

"Their concern is for safety of the protestors as well as innocent victims coming and going from the courthouse," said Jefferson.

Jefferson walked the perimeter around the courthouse and looked at an aerial view of the building to see where officers will be and what their primary focus will be on.

"You're going to have officers placed closer to front (doors) they may start here, but they'll end up in front because that's where jurors will come out, public come out and families will come out," said Jefferson.

Jefferson said uniformed officers as well as officers in civilian clothing will be at the courthouse.

RELATED: Security heightened as Michael Dunn verdict nears

"They will be one or two blocks away in the event they need additional manpower," said Jefferson.

Jefferson said security will also concern themselves with transporting Dunn back to the jail, even if he's found not guilty, to be processed out as a free man.

"They have to process him out and to get him out of the courthouse. They have a strategic way to get him out of the courthouse, more than likely, without the public seeing him," said Jefferson.

The security plan has been pretty open to allow protestors to do what they want in the courtyard, Jefferson said. Police will only get involved if there's a definite security threat.

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