UPDATE FROM THE LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF 6/18/2021: “We went through the footage from the entry point where complaints stemmed from, including from multiple angles which resulted in hours of footage being reviewed by multiple staff and a command officer. Video footage was also reviewed from the south entrance located on Washington street and no instance was found substantiating the allegation.”

 

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — Women have reportedly been told to remove their blouses while going through metal detectors at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, in what has been called a breakdown in security screening protocol.

As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, leaders with the Lake County Sheriff’s office called the allegations about what is happening at the checkpoints unacceptable, and are in the process of reviewing surveillance video to try and determine what happened.

Over the years, Chicago-based Monterrey Security has secured major contracts at Soldier Field, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lollapalooza, and Wrigley Field.

The clout-heavy firm is also currently contracted to run security screenings at the Lake County Courthouse.

“We take allegations very seriously,” said Lake County Sheriff’s Department Chief of Staff Anthony Vega.

Vega said there are allegations of a breakdown in protocol at the security screening checkpoint Tuesday morning.

“The allegations included that female employees were asked to remove a button-down blouse,” Vega said.

There are multiple allegations that female employees were asked to remove clothing as they walked through security — and not just their bulky outer layers. One employee who asked not to be identified says she was humiliated.

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“We are working with Monterrey Security on making sure they understand the protocols, re-training those employees,” Vega said.

Monterrey Security says their guards were trained in the existing courthouse protocols and have remained professional. A statement from the company points to the fact that the security company works side-by-side with members of the Sheriff’s Department.

It reads as follows:

“With the lifting of Stage 5 restrictions this week, we took steps in advance to ensure all of our officers were familiar with the screening policies at Lake County government buildings.

“Under the direct supervision and surveillance of Lake County Sheriff Court Security Officers and Deputies, we carried out those screenings in full accordance with those established policies. We remain confident in the professionalism and high standards maintained by all personnel from all of the teams involved in the screening process in those public areas.

“We look forward to continuing to work together with Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies and court security staff to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all staff and visitors.”

Vega said the allegations are potentially problematic.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Obviously, we do not want to ask any employee or member of the public — male or female — to disrobe.”

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Leaders with the sheriff’s department said on Wednesday, some of the management at Monterrey will be at the courthouse to make sure everyone is on the same page and training is consistent.

Charlie De Mar