Law Enforcement to participate in active shooter training at courthouse

Cook County Sheriff’s Department personnel will participate in an active shooter training with the U.S. Border Patrol at the Cook County courthouse this weekend, April 5-7.  Participants will have hands-on training with simulations in the courthouse on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend.

As law enforcement trains for all contingencies, county commissioners continue to wrestle with balancing security concerns with fiscal responsibility as they consider recommendations for security improvements at the courthouse and other county buildings. The recommendations came from a security committee that was formed after the December 2011 courthouse shooting.  After working with a consultant, the committee formulated a list of improvements they considered of highest priority. 

Recommended were security cameras in the courthouse, Community Center, and Highway Department buildings, duress buttons in all offices and meeting rooms, an intercom system, a keycard access system that would be programmed by computer to allow various levels of access, a walk-through x-ray machine and a metal detector like those at airports, and two full-time entry-level bailiffs to staff the x-ray machine and metal detector during normal courthouse business hours.  The total cost of the equipment would be just over $164,117 and the cost of two new employees was calculated at $119,100 a year.

At the March 12, 2013 meeting, the board voted to purchase the recommended equipment except for the x-ray machine and the metal detector.  They will discuss purchasing that equipment and hiring the staff to operate it during their regular meeting on April 9.