Saturday, September 12, 2009
Prohibited Items at the Government Center
Recently I wrote an article about prohibited items at the McHenry County Government Center. One reader commented that, if you pass the sign and enter the lobby to approach the security staff, then you have violated the law and any item of contraband can be confiscated. I disagree.
First of all, it's probably not a "law." It might not even be a County regulation or ordinance. It might just be a decision and announcement by the manager of the building. Does anyone know whether the County Board ever addressed items to be forbidden entry?
This sign is affixed to one of the doors at the west (main) entrance to the building. (Click on the image to enlarge it; then click on the Back button on your browser to return to this article.)
My first question about this sign is why is it in such a state of disrepair? The sign should have been created on sturdy enough material to be attached to the glass of the door and remain in good condition. In this multi-million dollar building are collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, fees, etc. Surely, a few more dollars could have been spent on a vinyl sign that would not be damaged as this one has been.
The next question is the prohibition of aerosol sprays. Pepper spray is already listed. Will security personnel prohibit a person from entering, if s/he has a medically-prescribed aerosol, such as for asthma? When the sign is replaced, should it read "certain aerosols"?
And liquid beverages? What about baby bottles containing formula? Will guards prohibit a person who is accompanied by an infant and who has bottle of formula with her (or him)? Sure, they are trying to keep bottles of flammable liquid out of the building, but why prohibit water or a soft drink from being carried into the building?