The majority of commissioners in Hennepin County, Mn. have given preliminary approval to adding weapons screening to the government center after hearing testimony by the mother of a woman shot to death outside a courtroom last September, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Geri Joseph, the mother of the late Shelley Joseph-Kordell, told commissioners that she’ll always believe her daughter would have lived if the center had operated metal detectors. “The lack of a few security measures in this building made it easy for Susan (Berkovitz) to kill my daughter,” said Joseph, a former U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands. Berkovitz, now serving a life prison term, was obsessed with her long-standing feud over her father’s modest estate of which Joseph-Kordell was the executor.
The dilemma has been how to secure a public building in downtown Minneapolis with 21 points of entry while making it accessible to 10,000 visitors daily. The commissioners called for an additional $1.5 million in capital costs for weapons screening in both the administrative and court towers of the government center.