Beginning Monday, the three suburban courts in Hennepin County will be more secure.
A weapons screening portal and x-ray equipment are being installed at and Brookdale; wanding equipment will be used at Southdale.
Additional property services staff will be present at all three locations on the morning of April 23 to assist District Court visitors and staff.
Weapons screening stations are similar to those at airports and other court buildings, but residents and employees should plan on arriving at their destination earlier than normal during the initial transition.
Prohibited items include:
· Bladed instruments or cutting tools of any size or description
· Electronic incapacitation devices, e.g. stun guns or Tasers
· Personal protection sprays, e.g. chemical mace, pepper spray and any other protective chemical aerosol
· Any other item that appears to be designed or carried as a weapon capable of inflicting injury upon another person.
The Hennepin County Board voted in March to implement at the suburban court facilities. The Hennepin County Fourth Judicial Court provides services to 42 communities at these locations. More than 1,110 court users are served each business day and more than 50,000 cases are heard annually, including assaults, domestic charges, minor criminal offenses, DWIs, traffic and parking violations.
Since the mid-1990s, weapons screening has been implemented at the county Juvenile Justice Center, Public Safety Facility, Family Justice Center and the Hennepin County Government Center.
The county currently spends an estimated $1.6 million on weapons screening at these facilities. The cost of the suburban court facilities weapons screening installation is approximately $234,000.
An analysis of permanent security solutions is being done in collaboration with the Fourth Judicial District, justice partners and Hennepin County cities. A report will be presented to the County Board for their consideration this November.