Tighter security at Dirksen federal building during NATO summit
BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter email@example.com April 30, 2012 6:04PM
Updated: June 2, 2012 8:15AM
NATO summit weekend will mean significantly stricter security at the Dirksen federal courthouse, with certain people banned from entering after-hours — even family members of arrestees.
Already, more security personnel has been spotted roaming the Dirksen lobby, and employees who use swipe-in cards to circumvent security are increasingly asked to show their IDs.
A general order signed by Chief U.S. District Judge James Holderman and dated April 26, restricts who can enter the building starting at 6 p.m. on Friday May 18 to 7 a.m. Monday, May 21.
It authorizes only essential visitors, including only lawyers who have cases up over the weekend as well as judges and court personnel who have matters up in court.
“No members of the public, including visitors to or family members of arrestees shall be admitted,” over that time period, Holderman’s order indicates.
The order also restricts construction contractors from coming in during that time. Right now, there is a separate entrance and security screening for construction crews who are working in the building. That is expected to be shut down.
The order comes as the Federal Protective Service last week said it expected to deploy additional personnel in the run-up to NATO to protect federal buildings in the Loop, referring to it as “Operation Red Zone.” The Dirksen building was among those to be protected.