Purses, child carriers and baby bottles are too dangerous to carry into the courtrooms of the Lincoln County Courthouse. Those items and others were banned April 1. Also, personal IDs are now required, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said.
Sippy cups are on the new prohibited list. So are back-packs, briefcases and any type of luggage.
Under the new restrictions, personal ID cards must have a photograph of the holder on it.
Chief Deputy Roland Kramer said the requirements are proactive and “not because something has happened already."
“We don’t want anything to happen,” he said.
“Things can be hidden in containers,” Kramer said. “The liquid in containers could be something volatile. Banning purses and back packs eliminates the need to search them.”
Officials advise not bringing any banned items into the courthouse if you are headed to the courtrooms, because there are no secure areas to keep things at the courthouse.
Lt. Dan Newton of the sheriff's office said, “We need to protect everyone in the court rooms -- judges, jurors, court house staff, inmates and those there to watch,” said.
Banning some of the baby things has brought some complaints, Kramer said.
“What is worse, not having the baby carriers or searching babies?” he said. “Lots of dangerous things can be hidden in a baby carrier.”
Joe Hewgley, the chairman of the Lincoln County Commissioners, said the commissioners instructed the staff to post the signs at the courthouse entrances and not just near courtrooms, so visitors will not have as far to go if they leave something in their car.
“We live in a crazy world,” Hewgley said, “If someone wants to take acid in the courtroom in a sippy cup and throw at judge, they could. Sometimes, believe it or not, that happens.”
Other items that were already banned from courtrooms are: weapons of any type including pocket knives, tools, cameras, cell-phones, recording equipment, personal electronic devices, beverages, beverage containers or any food items.
First published in the Bulletin's March 27 print edition.