Security Overhaul Recommended for Hennepin Co. Court

Updated: 11/22/2012 10:28 AM KSTP.com By: Nick Winkler

Consultants recommend changes that could save lives but cost millions.

While the full report to the county is secret for now, a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has obtained a memo to Hennepin County Board members outlining some of the report's highlights.

The most sweeping recommendation appears to be moving all court functions behind a weapons screening perimeter and installing permanent weapons screening at satellite courthouses.

More specifically, adopting the recommendations would mean moving the violations bureau, the hearing and fines management office, and the self help center behind the weapons screening perimeter at the county government building downtown.

Additionally, the report recommends possibly closing the Southgate satellite courthouse and consolidating suburban court activities within the Ridgedale and Brookdale satellite offices.

The county ordered a $150,000 security review earlier this year after a judge refused to hear cases at suburban courthouses unless additional security was added.

The county says about 300,000 people visit courthouses in Hennepin county each year.

The county board will determine which recommendations, if any, are adopted.

Adopting the recommendations could impact the budgets of surrounding cities and cost taxpayers countywide.