New security measures take shape at Government Center

Sheriff Bill Guenther
Isanti County Sheriff

Effective Monday, Aug. 12, the Isanti County Government Center will have new security measures in place. Security of the Government Center has been talked about for quite a few years now, and with funding help from the Isanti County Board and grants from Emergency Management, the program has been implemented.

Sheriff Bill Guenther
Sheriff Bill Guenther

The most noticeable change will be security staff and a metal detector at the main (north) entrance to the building.

All persons who enter through the main door will be required to go through the metal detector, and any bags they are carrying will be examined. It is a felony to possess a dangerous weapon in any courthouse complex per MN Statute 609.66.

Members of the public are encouraged to leave any items including, but not limited to, knives, tools, and other items of contraband, in their vehicles.

If items such as these are found during the scanning process, there will be three options available. The items may be returned to the vehicle, our security staff will confiscate the items for disposal, or you will not be allowed entry into the building. Future plans include the purchase of an electronic bag scanner which will streamline this process. All other doors to the building will have an electronic fobbing system on them, requiring the use of a key card to gain entrance. These doors will be used mainly by employees. This includes the east entrance which is adjacent to the entrance to the Sheriff’s Office/Jail. Those persons who are in the Sheriff’s Office/Jail and need to get to the Government Center will have to go around to the main entrance.

Court bailiffs will be on duty in every courtroom when court is in session. This has been going on for some time now, but with an increase in personnel it will be an everyday occurrence. The camera system in each of the three courtrooms has been upgraded significantly. The high resolution camera system includes audio, and all proceedings are monitored and recorded.

Funding for the camera system and door security fobbing came from grants applied for and received by the Isanti County Emergency Management Office. Funding for the court security personnel was granted by the Isanti County Board of Commissioners. A big thanks to both as this could not have happened without them.

This is new for all of us and will be a work in progress for a while. Please be patient as this process takes effect. We are confident that this will enhance the safety and security of the public and employees who utilize the Government Center.