Law Day observed at Anoka County Government Center

Citizens of all sorts stopped by the Anoka County Government Center to celebrate Law Day May 1.

Renaissance School students eat lunch at the Anoka County Government Center and listen to a presentation delivered by representatives of the county’s child protection services department. Students also toured a courtroom and watched a K9 demonstration during their Law Day field trip to the government center.

Renaissance School students eat lunch at the Anoka County Government Center and listen to a presentation delivered by representatives of the county’s child protection services department. Students also toured a courtroom and watched a K9 demonstration during their Law Day field trip to the government center.Photo by Sue Austreng

Resource tables lined the lobby area of the government center atrium and visitors were invited to ask questions about the role played by various agencies involved in the administration of justice in Anoka County.

“This is an opportunity for positive interaction with the law, a great opportunity for justice partners to have contact with the public and for citizens to see the courtroom, and ask questions in a less intimidating environment,” said Sarah Lindahl-Pfieffer, acting chief deputy of the Tenth Judicial District and organizer of the Anoka County observation.

Court administration, the county attorney’s office, public defenders and municipal prosecutors, the sheriff’s office, child protection services and Alexandra House were among the dozen or so agencies providing information during the event.

Specific activities included tours of a courtroom, question and answer sessions with a district court judge and law enforcement K9 demonstrations.

New this year, local students were invited to Anoka County’s celebration of Law Day. Twenty-five fourth through 10th grade Renaissance School students did stop by.

“This was such a neat experience for the students. They were able to ask questions, to see judges outside the courtroom, to visit the courtroom, to watch Mesa the bomb dog demonstrate her skills. The students were very much engaged,” said Renaissance teacher Brandee Palmer who accompanied students to the event.

County Attorney Tony Palumbo also called Law Day a valuable opportunity for the public.

“We’d like the community to have information about how the court system functions and how we can help them. We always like to have as many people stop by as possible so they can see what happens here, see that we’re here to help,” Palumbo said.

The national 2014 Law Day theme, “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters,” provides an opportunity to affirm the importance of the courts and their role in ensuring access to justice for all Anoka County citizens while it gives a closer look at the workings of the court system and its role in preserving citizens’ rights.

The idea of a national Law Day was conceived in 1957 by American Bar Association President Charles Rhynes. In 1958, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the first Law Day, and in 1961, the U.S. Congress issued a joint resolution making May 1 the official Law Day.

Sue Austreng is at
sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

up arrow