Your Turn: Are metal detectors needed at courthouse?

fischer cartoon security.jpg

One week ago asked readers whether metal detectors be installed at the Olmsted County Courthouse. Below are the responses we received.

Just another step toward security state

Metal detectors should not be installed at the Government Center, and not just because of the excessive cost. The more important reason is that it will be another step in the relentless security state. Any argument made for installing metal detectors at the Government Center can just as easily be made for installing them at Apache Mall, schools, the library, Mayo Civic or even at Down by the Riverside concerts.

Why shouldn't people "be confident that the person sitting next to them doesn't have a knife in their sock or a pistol in their pants," as the Post-Bulletin argues? Where in heaven's name should they not be installed, if that is the rationale?

The Transportation Security Administration, through their Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams, is now expanding airport-style passenger screening to Amtrak trains, subways and intercity buses on a random basis. Are city buses next?


Every additional "security" line your average citizen has to wait in steals a few more minutes from their life. The ever-increasing security state steals time from more important things like activities with family and friends.

Eventually, if the Post-Bulletin reasoning is used, we will be spending the majority of our lives being screened wherever we go.

Jim Rongstad



Detectors needed, but not on first floor

Increasing security is long overdue, but it seems to me that there are better alternatives that those proposed. Having a long line and crowd on the first floor of the Government Center is bad for the public who have no interest in what's going on in the courtrooms upstairs.

Perhaps an alternative would be to have the check point on the 5th floor and control the elevators to that floor, to limit the number arriving at one time, so a smaller space would be required


My other concern is the under-utilization of highly trained, well-paid professional law enforcement officers at the screening point. Most private and public buildings have someone other than armed peace officers perform that duty.

Ray Schmitz


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