The Madison County Courthouse now has a x-ray machine and metal detector installed at the entrance. The implementation of this process is to further provide the highest level of security not only for the courthouse staff but to the public as well. The machines were installed last week. The security at the courthouse has been a public concern for a while. Over a year ago, the Madison County Courthouse closed all of the entrances except one in an effort to increase security. At the Dec. 10, 2014 meeting, the County Commission unanimously approved the purchase of the machine. The cost of the x-ray machine and metal detector was $30,028. The x-ray machine will be used for items such as purses, brief cases, large bags, packages, backpacks and book bags. The metal detector is for person searches. Items not permitted inside the courthouse include knives, guns, sharp objects or any other item that may be construed as weaponry or contraband. Officers are not authorized to take temporary custody of such items during this process. It is recommended for persons with these items that are not needed or necessary within the courthouse to leave them in their vehicle. If a citizen chooses not to cooperate, they will not be allowed entrance. Sheriff Ben Stewart asks that the community be patient as this new process is put in place. The next couple of weeks will be a learning experience for all involved. Clerk of the Court Tim Sanders is working on placing signs outside of the courthouse to remind citizens about the items that are not permitted inside.