Nevada Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty made the high court’s case for enhanced security Wednesday, telling lawmakers that there are serious security issues not being addresses with the current limited protection from Capitol Police, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
He told a joint Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittee reviewing the court’s two-year budget proposal that the justices receive odd mail and face other issues, the article says. The court has held off making a formal security request for three sessions, the justice says.
The only enhancement to Supreme Court security occurred in July 2012 when justices hired their own chief of police, who now provides limited protection when justices travel for hearings outside of Carson City, the article reports.
Hardesty says that other than that limited protection, the seven justices have no security when leaving the Capitol Complex or the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. They are not accompanied anywhere they go outside of those facilities.
The proposed Supreme Court budget would eliminate the approximately 1.5 equivalent positions provided now by the Capitol Police. The court has requested about $430,000 for 2.5 security positions, and the officers would work under the justices’ direct supervision, the Review-Journal reports.
There are two shifts, overlapping several hours, where officers monitor video cameras from the second floor, Hardesty reports, but the main public access is on the first floor, where there is no security to protect the law librarian. These security concerns saw the first floor access closed in 2009.