What NOT to take to the City-County Building - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

What NOT to take to the City-County Building

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INDIANAPOLIS -

If you think airport security is tight, try getting into the City-County Building.

Every day, roughly 2,000 people go to the City-County Building for court hearings, to pay taxes or get a marriage license.

For those without a special county-issued ID, it's kind of like going to the airport. You have to take off our hats, jackets and belts and drop everything else in a plastic bin that goes down a conveyor to be screened by a sheriff's deputy. You then pass thru a metal detector and are wanded by another deputy.

While it's not the airport, in some ways the rules are more strict when it comes to what's allowed in the CCB and what's not.

Corporal Jeremiah Pool recently showed Eyewitness News some of what was confiscated over just two days. He dumped out a plastic tub filled with an assortment of objects.

"My rule is: if you don't take it to the airport, don't take it to the City-County Building," he said.

Obviously, weapons are not allowed, nor are scissors, pepper spray and box cutters - anything sharp. When asked about a plastic comb, Pool said, "It's a plastic comb with a sharp end on, it's the same as a letter opener."

And the tweezers? He said they too were sharp. "You would not want to be poked with tweezers."

Sorting thru the pile of contraband, you see things you probably could carry on a plane, like a tape measure.

"It looks harmless," Pool said, "but I've been cut many times by a metal tape measure."

The deputies also confiscate padlocks, "because somewhere down the road someone hit someone with a lock."

And it doesn't matter how small. Pool said, "If we take one, we have to take them all. Better to be firm, fair and consistent than make special rules for special people."

When Mary Milz noticed a small key in the pile, Pool explained it was a handcuffs key.

"We have inmates in and out of the building all day. (We have) all the courts, so we don't want those in custody to have access to keys."

He also showed examples of why everything that comes thru security may not be what you think it is. Holding up a normal-size key, he flicked it open to reveal that the "key" was actually a knife. He also grabbed a small, black plastic card - something they've seen a lot of lately.

"It's the size of a credit card," he said, but as he unfolded it, you could see it also was actually a knife.

"Most guys put it in their wallets. But when it goes thru the detector we see what it really is," Pool said.

Unless the item is illegal, you are allowed to return the item to your car or hand it over. If it IS illegal, you'll be arrested on the spot.

Pool said the items he shared were fairly common. They included hair spray (which is flammable), corkscrews, hair picks and manicure sets.

While some question the items which are prohibited, he said, "There's a reason for everything," noting, "some items are brought to our attention by judges. If they don't want them in their courts, we confiscate them down here."

As for what happens to all those items? Pool said they're put in a box and disposed of, so they can make room for the next day's haul.

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