Soon, visitors to the Carver County Justice Center will have to go through a point-of-entry weapons screening before they can enter the courts.
The county has been discussing the need for greater security at the Justice Center for some time, and this project, which was approved at the July 16 meeting of the Carver County Board, will keep Carver County up to date on safety.
Neighboring Scott County has had a point-of-entry weapons screening system in place since November 2012 and the program is working well, according to Steve Taylor, Division Director of Administrative Services.
The project budget of $485,300 was approved at the July 16 regular session and the design contract was awarded to CMA Architects for $33,300.
Once completed, the screening station will be located in the main lobby of the Justice Center between the Sheriff’s Office and courts entrance.
The program includes a walk-through metal detector and baggage x-ray machine. The new system will also include camera monitoring of all courthouse hallways and parking lots. County employees will be able to bypass the screening process. The current plans include many glass walls to provide optimal viewing for deputies and bailiffs staffing the checkpoint.
This program will release the bailiffs from sitting in every courtroom, and the bailiffs will only staff trials and hearings by request.
The Sheriff’s Department, the Carver County judges, and the commissioners are all looking forward to this project.
“It’s an important project and it’s something I believe we need to do,” Taylor said.
“It’s sad and too bad that we need to do this, but we need to do this,” Vice Chair Jim Ische said at the July 16 meeting.
Construction plans and bidding should be finalized by September. Construction will begin soon after and is expected to last three months, concluding in mid-Decemeber. After a few weeks of training and testing of the system, it is expected to be fully operational in early January 2014.
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