Courthouse security measures going way too far

Re.: Red Deer Life of Jan. 29 — Sheriff uses excessive force Why do we have to have this security in the courthouse when the place is crawling with police officers, se

Re.: Red Deer Life of Jan. 29 — Sheriff uses excessive force

Why do we have to have this security in the courthouse when the place is crawling with police officers, security officers carrying firearms, handcuffs and other weapons?

This is the place where people, such as Bill Berry and many other people from parents with children to seniors come, just to pay a traffic ticket, or attempt to get some information or maybe just to observe a trial or attend as a witness in a case.

Unless you are a staff member, lawyer or peace officer, you are to go through the screening machine removing your belt, and empty your pockets, take off your coat, while trying to hold up your pants. And if you happen to have a hip or shoulder replacement, you will set this machine off and end up standing on public display with your hands in the air while you are either patted down, or have a wand go over your entire body.

Or by chance you carry a dangerous weapon like a penknife, nail file, knitting needles, they will be confiscated and not returned to you, unless you do as I did and go back outside and hide the penknife in the flower bed to be retrieved after completion of your business.

Of all public places, you would think that this indignity of being almost strip-searched would not be necessary in the Red Deer Courthouse, where there are always armed personnel all over the place, as well as surveillance cameras.

Who is this security for anyway? The judges, lawyers, enforcement people or the staff? If so, are they in more need of protection than say staff or the public in other public places like the hospital, library, City Hall, schools or college, banks etc.?

I think not!

It may be time to review this policy of so-called public safety.

George VandenBrink

Red Deer

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