By Michael Grohs, Contributing Editor
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Louis Pasteur famously remarked, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” Both quotes seem apt when discussing security. In Grand Marais, Minnesota, in 2012, immediately after being convicted of criminal sexual conduct, Daniel Schlienz opened fire in a courtroom injuring four people, one of them a county attorney. The courthouse did not have a metal detector. Shortly later District Judge Lloyd Zimmerman refused to hear cases in Hennepin County courtrooms that were not equipped with metal detectors. He told the Star Tribune that he was tired of “not knowing whether I will be carried out in a body bag that day." Shortly after that, the county board voted to install the security devices.
Ben Bolton is the Outreach & Technical Services Coordinator at the Justice Information Technology Center, (JTIC) a Maryland-based program of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice, which serves as the information hub for decision makers in regards to “evaluation, selection and purchase of proven and tested methods, equipment and technology.” Weaponry has evolved, and traditionally innocuous items such as credit card holders and lipstick can be weaponized. JTIC can offer information and testing for NIJ standards for any technology used in the justice arena. One issue, says Bolton, is that unlike other areas of the justice system, such as law enforcement and corrections, courts tend to be divided into groups such as tax, family, probate, etc. That categorization makes it difficult for courts to have many Associations, thus making it “hard to get the pulse” of what courts are looking for. As a result, security for courts tends to be individualized.
A 2012 report by the National Center for State Courts noted there is a trend of increased courtroom violence. By courts’ very nature, they are institutions of potential incidents. There are many people there every day. Some of them are under stress or are angry. Courts contain agitated prisoners, angry or unruly litigants, distraught family members, and considering that courts are the representation of democracy, that symbolism can make them targets for anti-government sentiment. As the report, which is titled Courthouse Security Incidents Trending Upward: The Challenges Facing Courts Today, noted, “In addition to shootings, bombings, and arson attacks, there have been knifings, assaults, failed bombing attempts, suicides, bomb plots, murder-for-hire conspiracies, and much more.”
The Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators’ (CCJ/COSCA) Court Security Handbook called “Ten Essential Elements for Court Security and Emergency Preparedness” recommends a tiered approach. The recommendation is that screening stations consist of a metal detector, x-ray machine, and an adequate amount of personnel available to operate the equipment and conduct screening. For example, Ohio recommends providing at least one portable walk-through magnetometer as well as a handheld one operated by trained security personnel. The preferred practice is to have three security officers at each screening post: the first to operate the machine, the second to check people who set off the detector, and a third who can provide back-up in case of an emergency or the need arises for additional support. Backpacks, purses, laptops and other devices, briefcases, bags and boxes should be screened. All incoming boxes and mail should enter the premises in a central location and be subject to screening before distribution. The handbook breaks all of their suggested stages of security implementation into phases in consideration of, among other things, budget restraints.
Phase Two of the incoming mail procedural process recommends that all packages be processed through an x-ray machine, and all people delivering packages to pass through a magnetometer. There are numerous items that can detect metal, cell phones (on or off), people and other vehicles for contraband introduction. Some of the manufacturers or distributors to these technologies include the following.
CSECO’s CT-40 Contraband Team Inspection Kit has all of the features and components the CT-30 Kit has with an added exception, the new Perfect Vision V20 Videoscope has been added. This means clearer images, easier digital image capturing, and a scope safe for use in hazardous environments such as fuel tanks, without the hassle of camera attachments and glass fibers, which can break easily. Components include the Buster K910B Density Meter and Contraband Detector, which uses a low intensity gamma radiation emitter and back scatter scintillation detector to identify the difference in density between contraband (drugs, explosives, weapons, currency, etc.) and the object in which the contraband is hidden. The detector directs a beam of energy into the object being inspected. A filled space reflects back more energy than an empty space. As Buster is moved across the surface of the object, the measurement is displayed on a digital readout, and an alarm sounds if the density changes. The detector uses directed energy beam which can "see" through wood, metal, textiles, plastic, etc. Since every material has a specific density, unexpected changes become obvious. The gamma rays cause no damage to the objects being inspected.
The kit also includes the PN - Series Inspection Probe Kit with several stainless steel probes with grooves designed to trap contraband when inserted into upholstery, sacks, flower beds, etc. The Leica Laser Range Meter, which is used to find false walls, bulkheads, and hidden compartments in truck beds, freight containers, railroad cars and other spaces, the PM-10 Extension Inspection Mirror with High Intensity Flashlight, and the CT-40 Customer Carrying Case with Wheels.
Website: www.cseco.com ? Phone: 510.864.8010 ? E-Mail: email@example.com
The PD 6500i walk-through metal detector from Garrett Metal Detectors, chosen for its superior pinpoint technology and unmatched discrimination features, were used to protect patrons of the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. The PD 6500i features 33 distinct zones to precisely identify multiple target locations. With advanced networking options, this detector can be remotely accessed by supervisors to manage controls and monitor statistics and alarms. The PD-6500i walk through detector has a new Prisons 2 program that provides enhanced detection of difficult weapons that are carried through in a vertical orientation—an orientation that has proven to be difficult for some other systems to detect.
The Garrett Super Scanner V, with audible and vibrating alarm options, detects ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel weapons, contraband, and other metallic objects. The Super Scanner V is rugged, self-calibrating, includes adjustable sensitivity, and it is made in the USA.
CEIA Court Security solutions include metal detectors that ensure compliance with high levels of courthouse security and allow easy building access to visitors and court employees.
The CEIA HI-PE Plus walk-through metal detector is an affordable yet high performance multi-zone walk-through metal detector that has the capability to detect the full range of metal weapon threats, even within body cavities. The HI-PE Plus complies with the strictest security standards and provides unmatched reliability, immunity to environmental interference and consistency for the detection of all the metal objects that could be considered a threat to individuals and their safety.
The CEIA EMIS-MAIL is designed for mail and parcel inspection to detect a wide variety of metal threat items such as detonators and parcel bombs without false alarms for non-threat items such as metal staples or paper clips. The EMIS-MAIL table-top system is easy to use and provides a fast, automatic alarm/no alarm signal confirmation for each item.
www.ceia-usa.com • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 1.888.532.2342 or 1.330.405.3190
Videoscopes are used to inspect areas that are normally inaccessible—typically in a prison situation that would be around the bend in the toilets, behind the walls and in any holes found in the structure of the furniture or fabric of the cell. The video’s scope probe can be up to 118” (3m) long, although most are in the 60-80” range. The videoscope will record the area it is inspecting—for training or evidentiary purposes. It will see anything concealed such as narcotics or shivs or any other contraband tucked inside an object. Simple to use and easy to maintain, the SASRAD Readyscope is ready to use straight out of the case without needing to negotiate tiers of menus or long warm up times. There are other scopes available with tiny diameters of less than 2mm used to inspect vehicle tires without letting the air out—but can be used though locks and gaps in doors. Infrared illumination is available for clandestine use such as prison riots and barricaded cells.
Website: www.sasrad.com ? E-Mail: email@example.com ? Phone: (954) 432-2345