Electronics Ban to Take Effect Monday at Jefferson County Courthouse
Jefferson County Sheriff's Department deputies will be providing security for the courthouse, a task previously performed by a private security firm. The changeover and electronic devices ban begins Feb. 18.
Starting Monday, anyone entering the Jefferson County courthouse in Hillsboro will be prohibited from bringing in cell phones, tablet computers and laptops. The prohibition includes "all electronic devices," according to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.
In addition, sheriff's department deputies will be providing all security at the courthouse. The work previously was provided by a private security firm. According to Captain Ronald Arnhart, media coordinator for the sheriff's department, the Jefferson County Council recently voted to discontinue paying a private firm for security and instead provided additional funding for the sheriff's department for deputies to handle all courthouse security tasks.
Arnhart said deputies will be stationed at entrance doors checking all individuals entering the courthouse, as well as monitoring the courthouse hallways.
Only those electronic devices authorized by the sheriff will be allowed in the building. Signage is posted at courthouse entrance to inform the public of the prohibition.
The reason for the ban on electronic devices is due to the versatility of phones and tablet computers, Arnhart said.
"So many phones today have cameras and can take video and (make) sound recordings," Arnhart said. Cameras are not allowed in courtrooms
Arnhart said a cell phone ban already is in place at the Madison County (IL) courthouse and that other counties are considering instituting similar policies. No such prohibition is in place at the St. Louis County courthouse building.