A trio of local judges traded their gavels for guns Sunday.
They led a group of about a dozen courthouse employees, all women, for a day at a South Side shooting range. They came to learn how to better protect themselves, and their families.
“As a judge, as a woman, as a mother, I think it’s my job to be proactive and do something to make sure that my loved ones and I are protected,” said 214th District Court Judge Inna Klein.
347th District Court Judge Missy Medary helped organize the outing. She says hearing Austin area Judge Julie Kocurek speak about the attempt on her life in 2015 really hit home.
“When we were listening to her, you could hear a pin drop in that room,” said Medary. “I looked around the room and every single judge was just intently listening to this story.”
At the courthouse, there are plenty of measures in place to keep both judges and their staffs safe. But when they leave, there’s nobody to protect them.
“I don’t know if we could ever take our safety for granted, but I think now we definitely cannot,” said Klein.
That’s why these courthouse employees took the class, to take a more proactive role in their own safety away from work.
“We count on the Sheriff’s Department, we count on law enforcement of course, but we’re also responsible for ourselves,” said Medary.
It’s unlikely what happened to Judge Kocurek will happen to one of these judges, but the group left understanding there’s more to being safe than carrying a gun.
“Am I going to try to be more prepared? Absolutely,” said Medary. “Am I going to be aware of my circumstances and surroundings even more? Yeah, I think we all will.”
Everyone who took the class Sunday passed with flying colors. Both Judge Medary and Judge Klein say they plan on taking more courses in the future.