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After Thursday’s Violence In Kaufman County, Dallas DA Wants Changes

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Thursday’s killing of a felony prosecutor in Kaufman left the Dallas County District Attorney worried for the safety of his employees.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins insists his own prosecutors are at risk of the same crime. Most have to park in unsecured lots across the street from the Frank Crowley Courts Building. “This is a wake-up call,” he told CBS 11 News.

Watkins says it’s stunning neither he or his staff have a security detail or even secured access to the courthouse. Thursday’s killing hits home. “Obviously you can tell we’re very upset about it.”

Watkins points out there is weapons screening at courthouse doors, but says the long walks to and from cars are not secure for his prosecutors. “They have to come through the same parking lot with those individuals who are showing up to court with heinous crimes and they may know who that prosecutor is.”

Watkins insists someone with a vendetta could repeat Thursday’s killing in Dallas. “Moreso. Kaufman County is very small. In fact, I believe Kaufman County has less than five prosecutors…we have 250 prosecutors.”

He points out the Mayor of Dallas has a police security detail, but he doesn’t put people behind bars. “What boggles my mind is the fact that you’ll have a mayor of a city that will have a security detail but you won’t have an elected DA have that… When what we do is so sensitive and so many people are upset at what we do; and this is a perfect example why some of those things need to change.”

He wants county commissioners to fund more and better security. “Prosecutors have to walk outside this courthouse to get to their cars on a daily basis…but there’s no security to protect those individuals,” he said, adding, “One thing we should have is adequate protection.”

Watkins points out county commissioners fund his office; he feels it’s up to them to provide a safe working environment for his people as well.

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