Enough with cellphones already.
That’s what security at Warren County Courthouse repeats scores of times every day despite a bright yellow sign that sits just outside the door warning visitors the devices are forbidden.
“I think some folks would rather lose an arm than not have their cellphone,” said courthouse security chief Herb Rowland. “There’s a sign that sits just outside the door that I will sit right here and see people read. Then they will come in with their cellphone anyway.”
The ban is not just for cellphones and pocket knives, but for a list of items clearly detailed on the sign outside the only public access door.
“They say they aren’t going into the courthouse,” Rowland said. “I just tell them they are already in the courthouse when they walk through that door.”
People who are found to be carrying any of the banned items are given the choice of returning them to their automobiles or leaving them on a table.
“We let them know we aren’t responsible for things like cellphones they leave here,” Rowland said. “I bet 80 percent of people we stop up front is over cellphones.”
All people entering the courthouse are now subject to passing through a metal detector. A security team is stationed at the front entrance of the courthouse during regular courthouse hours. It is part of beefed-up security measures at the courthouse. The cellphone ban is also based on disturbances caused by the devices going off during court.
“Just leave your cellphone in the car,” Rowland suggested. “People can live without them for a few minutes.”