Register in probate Jennifer Faber returned from a juvenile conference and told the public safety committee about identifying drug-related clothing and courtroom security.
“He had two whole tables full of clothing that was drug-related,” Faber said.
She explained Joe Keil of Manitowoc County Sheriff’s office brought in a number of clothing items that reference drugs.
Faber was surprised that a certain shirt means “someone does a certain drug or possibly is looking to sell a particular substance.”
One of the women at the conference had one of the shirts on display for drug references. The shirt had a diamond on it and the woman had no idea of its alleged illicit references.
“She had no idea it was related to drugs at all, she just liked the shirt because it had a diamond on it,” Faber reported.
She also noted what an Orange Slice soda shirt could mean.
“I had no idea that a shirt featuring a soda could have anything to do with drug usage,” Faber said.
The discussion continued with committee members asking a number of questions relating to drug reference clothing including particular wrist bands.
One of the committee members said this kind of information would be important for the police to know about, especially at a county fair or other large gatherings of people.
“These are things law enforcement already knows and they do a very good job noticing it,” she added.
Faber said they were shown a video at the conference of a defendant who attempted to stab someone on the witness stand.
She explained the case was revolving around a gang-related case and the defendant got up from the defense table and took a pen from his attorney. As he rushed toward the witness stand, a U.S. Marshall shot him.
“From the time he stood up to when he got to the witness stand, it took only six seconds,” Faber said. She continued to discuss other courtroom discussions including how and where jail inmates enter the courtroom.
Faber explained inmates enter the courtroom behind where the clerk sits in the courtroom and spoke of the dangers of having them enter behind the desk. At the session led by James Brigham of Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Faber said she learned what the courtroom staff should be looking for and also had a few suggestions, for the public and courtroom staff, for improving security in the courtroom.
At this point in the meeting, County Administrator Nate Ehalt spoke about his new committee. This group will analyze public safety needs across the county. He said they will have a proposal to present to the committee sometime in the next 60 to 90 days.
Ehalt added they will be looking into solutions for their current building and also a potential new building.
Faber also suggested an active shooter training session at the Government Center during an in-service day. That way the building would be closed to the public and employees would be able to get information on what to do if that situation were to arise.
“No one comes here for happy occasions except adoptions and marriages,” Faber concluded. “People come here to pay their taxes or to have to deal with the courthouse and I think security of the courthouse should be a priority.”