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Bags Now Banned From Some Northland Courtrooms

Posted at: 07/01/2013 5:19 PM
Updated at: 07/01/2013 10:42 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com



As of Monday, bags are banned from inside some Northland courtrooms and officials said it's all in an effort to keep people safe.

The new bag search order allows Sixth Judicial District courthouses to prohibit bags from inside the courtroom. Each county can enforce the order as they see fit. For example, some counties may just search bags.

In Saint Louis County, bags are banned completely.

"We don't have the staffing to search every bag coming into the courtroom, so just denying bags is really the best thing for us to do," Court Operations Manager Mark Hoyne said.

Hoyne said the change was prompted by the December 2011 shooting in a Cook County courtroom.

"It's just a logical step after the shooting in Cook County," Hoyne said. "This is just one way that we can reduce the potential of any kind of dangerous items coming into the courtroom."

In Carlton County, bags are now banned too.

"The best thing for them to do is to leave those bags at home when they know they're coming here for a court appearance," Sheriff Kelly Lake said.

People had mixed opinions about the change, but most people thought it was a good idea.

"I think it's necessary and I think it's sad," Katherine Brantner said. "Now, it's just so dangerous I just think we have to."

"I guess for safety stuff, it's alright," Myron Graue said. "You never know what will happen now a days."

In Cook County, bags are already banned from inside the courtroom. In Lake County, officials said bags are not banned, but can be randomly searched.