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Security Screening Begins in the Whatcom County Courthouse

September 30th, 2005

In an effort to increase safety for both the public and courthouse employees, we will be implementing security screening procedures on Monday, October 3, 2005. These screening measures will be very similar to the procedures used at airports and other government facilities.

The courthouse entrance doors will be open to the public from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on normal business days. During these hours, a security screening station will be operating next to the elevators on the main floor. All members of the public needing access to the basement and floors two through six, will be required to pass through security screening.

Stairwells throughout the courthouse will be accessible to the public for emergency exit only.

Your cooperation in helping us maintain the integrity of the courthouse and protect the public and employees who enter the facility is greatly appreciated.

Michael Russell
(360) 676-6746 ext. 50575
(360) 676-6789 Fax
mrussell@co.whatcom.wa.us

Frequently Asked Questions About Courthouse Security
  1. Q: How much time will the screening take?
    A: We do not believe that it will take longer then 10 minutes however visitors should allows extra time when visiting the courthouse for the screening.

  2. Q: What is on those floors?
    A: The basement houses the Division of Emergency Management and the Law Library. The second floor houses courtrooms and the Prosecuting Attorney's Offices. The third floor houses the Superior Court, courtrooms, and the Division of Information Technology. The fourth floor houses the District Court, courtrooms, and District Court Probation. The fifth and sixth floor houses Juvenile Court, and Juvenile Detention.

  3. Q: What is prohibited beyond screening?
    A: While not a complete list, any weapon, such as
    • Firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, including a BB gun
    • Knife, including a switchblade or other knife having an automatic spring release device
    • Stiletto
    • Police-type baton or nightstick
    • Any other martial arts weapon
    • Electronic defense weapon

  4. Q: What if I bring a prohibited weapon?
    A: Any person in possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon seeking to enter the judicial areas of the courthouse shall in advance, report to a members of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office or other security personnel and arrange to have the firearm or other dangerous weapon secured in the lockbox provided on the 1st floor of the courthouse.

  5. Q: If I am headed to the Executives Office, Council Chambers or Office, Human Resources, Treasurer, Auditor, or Assessor's Office do I need to go through screening?
    A: No, offices and departments located on the first floor of the courthouse are available to the public without going through screening.

  6. Q: Will I be able to use the back doors to the courthouse?
    A: No, only the north Rotunda entrance and the south first floor entrance will be available for public use.

  7. Q: What if I have questions that are not answered above?
    A: You can contact Mike Russell, Courthouse Security Manager at (360) 676-6746 ext. 50575.