Henn. County to begin weapons screening at suburban courts

12:03 PM, Apr 18, 2012   |    comments
Metal detectors in Hennepin County complex
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MINNEAPOLIS - Hennepin County will begin screening for weapons at three suburban court facilities starting this Monday.

The procedures will be in place for those entering courtrooms at the Brookdale, Ridgedale and Southdale locations. A weapons screening portal and x-ray equipment are being installed at Brookdale and Ridgedale, while wanding equipment will be used at Southdale.

Additional staff will be present at all three locations on Monday morning to assist court visitors and staff.

Weapons screening stations are similar to those used at airports and other court buildings. Residents and employees should plan on arriving earlier than normal during the initial transition.

Prohibited items include:

  • Firearms
  • Knives, bladed instruments or cutting tools of any size or description
  • Electronic incapacitation devices like stun guns or Tasers
  • Personal protection sprays like 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 predicted cost of the suburban court facilities weapons screening installation is approximately $234,000.

The Hennepin County Board voted in March to implement interim weapons screening at the suburban court facilities. The debate was spurred by District Court Judge Lloyd Zimmerman, who publicly voiced his concerns about the lack of security and safety measures in place at the Brookdale court location.

Zimmerman was backed by Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who voiced his own concerns about the lack of security at the suburban court locations.

The Hennepin County Fourth Judicial Court provides services to 42 communities at its suburban locations. More than 50,000 cases are heard annually, including assaults, domestic charges, minor criminal offenses, DWIs, traffic and parking violations.


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