GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — When you walk through the doors of the Brown County Courthouse, there is no security screening equipment.
“Prior to COVID you could come in eight different doorways in the courthouse,” said Keith Deneys, Brown County Supervisor and Chairman of the Public Safety Committee.
Deneys was once in charge of courthouse security.
“This topic has come in front of the county board since the 90s,” said Deneys.
But so far the only change that has recently happened is a single point entrance.
Judge Thomas Walsh has worked at this courthouse for about 30 years, since 2012 as a judge and 20 years prior as an attorney.
“The problem is of course is I don’t have any clue when something in the court might be a problem,” said Brown County Circuit Judge Thomas Walsh.
He said if a judge feels that extra security is needed or there needs to be extra screening, a judge can request it.
“I only requested it once and there wasn’t staffing available to do it, so it wasn’t afforded to me,” Walsh said.
Walsh said sometimes people might think it is the criminal cases that extra screening would be needed, but he believes that is not always the case.
“It’s the family court cases that are going to cause the most concern because you’re dealing with people’s families, you’re dealing with money and people get heated,” Walsh said.
So as this issue continues to be brought to the table, Walsh hopes a long term security solution can soon be in place.
“This isn’t just about whether if I feel safe. Members of the public come here on a regular basis. We have school children that come here for tours, for their civic classes, we have people who get subpoenaed to come here to be witnesses, we have jurors who don’t want to be here, but they come here,” Walsh said.