New security measures means longer lines at County courthouse

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- New security measures at the Milwaukee County Courthouse caused some longer lines on Thursday, March 7th.

"30 minutes at this door. The other door they took us away from because they said it would be like, an hour," one visitor said.

Guards told FOX6 News they have been ordered to make people take off their belt and shoes when coming through any security entrance.

"Only bring what you need and be prepared to take your shoes off," another visitor told FOX6 News.

County Executive Chris Abele would not share details on the changes, for security reasons, but says he is taking the situation seriously. He said he immediately met with the facilities director, who is in charge of courthouse security.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Clarke sent out a news release, saying an undercover deputy was able to get a gun through all six security checkpoints. It said: "In each instance, the security officers used a handheld wand to locate the metal, but merely allowed her to reveal her belt buckle as the source and then let her through."

"If your highest priority was getting to better security, I'm guessing you wouldn't put out a press release, you'd probably call me up," Abele said.

Abele says all he knows about the incident is what was in the news release. He says he is frustrated Sheriff Clarke did not reach out to him directly and has not given him any more details -- like when these incidents took place. It looks like for now, he and these courthouse patrons will just have to wait.

"I personally believe we get better answers and solutions when we work together face to face, sit down in a room rather than play it out in the press," Abele said.