Security expansion planned for Brown County courthouse

Lack of security screening ends
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 5:53 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - After decades of discussion and debate, new security measures are coming to the Brown County courthouse. The county board voted unanimously to approve construction of a security building at the entrance of the courthouse

Brown County’s sheriff tells us this courthouse is one of few in the state that doesn’t have security screening. That will change soon.

The plan is to add a security building that will connect both the courthouse annex and the district attorney’s office.

The $4 million building will serve as a screening area for guns and other weapons.

“Ideally it would be great if we could start the project, as far as breaking ground, by fall of this year,” Sheriff Todd Delain said, “but it might be a pretty aggressive schedule to try to get there as far as supply chain issues and stuff like that. But certainly this is full speed ahead, and we want to get this done as soon as possible.”

The chair of the Brown County Public Safety Committee, Keith Deneys, says there have been situations where people brought weapons into the courthouse. He hopes the extra security would prevent a future incident.

“This is a building where there is emotional trauma going on every day of the week that it’s open. There’s something traumatic in someone’s life that goes on in that building, which means we should take extra steps to make sure that it’s secure for those people that are coming there,” Deneys said.

Officials understand there are concerns about changing the look of the historical courthouse.

“Through the whole process there’s been consideration to seeing a point of entrance and screening that did not detract from the beauty from the outside as well as the inside of that courthouse,” Sheriff Delain said.

The sheriff says the next step is to hire a project manager.

The early design of the new security building may change as the project moves forward.

The county board approves a plan to build a new entrance