Security personnel at the Lexington County building at 205 E. Main St. now ban purses, cellphones, baby carriers and strollers, and they search citizens’ wallets.
Clerk of Court Beth Carrigg and the Sheriff’s Department are right to say that every effort must be made to keep potential weapons out of the courtroom, where cases sometimes involve violent prisoners. But other business is conducted in this building, for example the issuance of marriage licenses and estate issues. It is ridiculously intrusive to apply extreme search and contraband standards to people who enter the building for matters that have nothing to do with the criminal court.
Further, the procedures aren’t particularly good ones. A more effective solution would be to continue with the X-ray and detector wands up front, and have another search area at the entrance to the courtroom, instead of for the whole building. This would create layered security for the sensitive area without imposing on everybody else.