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Chicago-Installing and monitoring security systems in the homes of U.S. judges nationwide will cost almost $5 million in its first year, with about two-thirds of the judges signing up for the equipment so far, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Of the 1,600 judges who have said they want the systems, about 400 have been installed by the government’s contractor, ADT Security Services, said John McNulty, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington. There are about 2,200 federal judges. The Marshals Service requested the outlay last year after the murders in Chicago of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow’s husband and mother. Bart Ross, a litigant whose medical malpractice case was dismissed by Lefkow, broke into her Chicago home, hid in the basement and shot the family members. He later committed suicide. The Marshals Service initially won U.S. funding last year for a $3.9 million contract with ADT of Boca Raton, Fla., and about $1 million to pay for third-party monitoring of the systems through September of this year. A U.S. House of Representatives bill that passed last month would provide funding for future monitoring, which can cost between $24 and $40 per month per home, said Marshals Chief Michael Prout, who leads the service in Chicago. “The implementation was basically tied up in red tape, but hopefully judges’ home security will be solved in the next few months,” said Chief Judge James Holderman, who took the Northern District of Illinois’ post last week. While the Senate hasn’t yet passed a bill that would cover future costs for the monitoring of the systems, Prout is confident it will include the House’s funding terms and ultimately win passage. Marshals Service Director John F. Clark told a House committee in March that the installation project was moving ahead after four successful pilot programs. “Director Clark has made it an agency priority to provide for residential security monitoring,” Prout said. The agency and ADT are on track to complete installation of the home security systems by the end of September, Prout said. Overall, the Marshals Service set aside $8 million for judicial security last year, including funding for additional staffing; an all-hours intelligence center in Arlington, Va., that will relay information on threats throughout the country and coordinate responses; and expanded training for threat investigators.

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