Security Procedures at the Dane County Courthouse


Weapon Screening Notice for Courthouse Website

The safety of employees, jurors, litigants and all who visit the courthouse is a key priority of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office. The courthouse must be a place that provides a calm, safe, and neutral environment for resolution of disputes. This information is intended to provide the guidelines necessary to help insure the safety and security of all who utilize the courthouse.

All persons who enter the courthouse must proceed through weapon screening. Law enforcement on official business can bypass the x-ray and metal detector, but must sign in after passing through the glass side door on either side of the weapon screening station. Law enforcement officers observing a court hearing, but are not the case detective or appearing by subpoena are not considered on official business.

As people proceed through the screening process, they will be instructed to empty pockets of any object containing metal. All belts with metal buckles and any other identified metal should be placed in a plastic property bin prior to walking through a metal detector. If a person sets off the metal detector, the person will be asked to remove any metal objects from their person, place the item in their property bin, and pass through the metal detector once more.

If a person still sets off the metal detector, a weapon screener will further investigate the reason for the alarm using a hand-held wanding device and manual search. If a hand-held wanding device identifies an area on a person may contain metal, the screener will further investigate what is setting off the wand. The screener will provide advanced notice they are going to conduct a pat down and visual inspection of the identified area. (i.e., a pant leg near the ankle).

If a weapon screener identifies a questionable object in a property bin while being x-rayed, the screener should inquire with the property owner what the object is. The object may be run through the x-ray machine a second time. Afterward, the object may be further investigated once it exits the x-ray machine. The property owner must remain at the station while the item in question is being investigated.

Effective Wednesday, February 26th, 2020, no prohibited items will be allowed in the courthouse at any time. Those entering the courthouse with a prohibited item will be asked to remove the item from the courthouse prior to conducting business inside the building. A prohibited item in the courthouse is any of the following, including screeners using their discretion to disallow an item into the courthouse that is believed could be a safety and security issue:

Guns, knives, ammunition, facsimile weapons, explosives, Taser, martial arts weapons, baton, pepper spray, brass knuckles, needle-nose pliers, screw driver, drill bits, wrenches, construction nails, nail punch, chisel, putty knife, hammer, bike tools, sharp kitchen utensils, skateboard, bicycle, metal darts, scissors, drugs (other than a prescription), and alcohol.