Security Theater at Hennepin County Suburban Courthouses

Here in Hennepin County we’ve had a recent kerfuffle surround the security as suburban court houses. OK, the kerfuffle was stated by one judge who refused to hear any cases as suburban courtrooms because he didn’t feel they screened for weaponry enough. Instead of firing him the county eventually caved and spent major money on nothing:

We don’t know that anybody will ever be injured in our courthouses, but we don’t want it to happen,” said Commissioner Jan Callison, who sponsored the resolution. “And we know that they are places that are high stress, with people under a lot of pressure. And people under pressure who have access to weapons do things they shouldn’t do.”


After considering closing the Southdale court in Edina — where it would cost about $900,000 to rebuild the entryway to accommodate a walk-through detector — the board decided to have visitors there screened with handheld devices for now.

A permanent solution for Southdale and the other two courts will have to await conclusions of a $150,000 study on court security that the board ordered Tuesday from the administration.

That report is due Nov. 1; in the meantime, a $77,000 security report commissioned from the National Center for State Courts will be finished this spring.

Emphasis mine. While nobody has actually been harmed in a Hennepin County courthouse they’re spending in excess of $1 million to boost security because of one whiny judge who was probably lazy and figured bitching about the lacking security at the suburban courthouses would get him out of working for a while.

But hark, a case proving the necessity of these additional security measures has appeared in Texas! Except, it hasn’t:

A man has opened fire outside a court in the US state of Texas, killing one person and injuring three, say police.

Again the emphasis is mine. Some people have been brining this case to my attention and claiming it as justification for spending money on additional security at the suburban courthouses here. Here’s the problem, the shooting at the Texas courthouse took play outside. Do you know what metal detectors and screening people entering the courtroom will do to secure the exterior of the building? Jack shit.

This case does bring up the fact that security the interior of the courthouse does nothing. If somebody means a prosecutor, judge, or other individual harm they will just wait for that person to exit the building. Once again the state is putting on security theater to solve a nonexistent problem.