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  • Court Security Officers

    After reading a number of threads regarding professional courtesy, I would like to hear from officers working in the Courts about how security is handled in their jurisdictions.
    In New York state most of our court system's law enforcement functions are provided by New York State Court Officers. We are peace Officers with state-wide jurisdiction, full arrest powers and have full carry privileges on our ID. Court Officers handle prisoner production during court appearances, secure judges, their staff and the public. We patrol the courthouses, and staff the magnetometer posts at the courthouse entrance. We also patrol the streets around the the courthouses. We maintain an ongoing relationship with the NYPD and Federal agencies that covers the continuing security threats in NYC.
    Currently I am assigned to the felony level trial court in Manhattan, where I've met a number of officers from other jurisdictions visiting us for extradition pick-ups. one officer from South Carolina, came up to make a pick-up. As he was getting ready to go into the Correction dept. pens, he turned over his firearm to me. Then he took a backup from the other side of his jacket. Thought he was finished when he pulled a third out of his boot. Told me he wanted to be ready for the big bad city. I've got to tell you, a back-up piece is always a good idea, but I don't think NY ever rated a third gun.
    I'd like to compare notes with any other court officers out there.
    Have a safe tour.

  • #2
    I provide security for the Common Pleas Court in my county. Here in Ohio, peace officers do not have to surrender their weapons when they are in court unless it is federal court. I am also a certified peace officer (deputy sheriff) and also armed in the courthouse. I have been working for the sheriff's office for well over 5 years and am familiar with most law enforcement in this area. I've had a few come in that I didn't know immediately, but only 2 who didn't like being asked for ID. But, when they are in plain clothes and I don't recognize them, that's my job. Once they have identified themselves, I am all about professional courtesy. Other counties may have different policies and procedures. Mostly, the transport officers are responsible for the inmates, but I do provide assistance with them from time to time, as well as working the entrance, providing security in the courtroom or taking people into custody when they have been sentenced or had bond revoked.

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    • #3
      Am a cop in FL what is up with private companies handleing extradition for prisoners. They are not sworn what are there requierments. They can also go anywhere in the U.S. armed who are these people I have never had a conversation with one because I dont want to offend them when I start to interrogate them about what they do and there policys.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ICE-MAN
        Am a cop in FL what is up with private companies handleing extradition for prisoners. They are not sworn what are there requierments. They can also go anywhere in the U.S. armed who are these people I have never had a conversation with one because I dont want to offend them when I start to interrogate them about what they do and there policys.
        Try a google search for "prisoner transport".
        Lots of info.

        Kelly

        We are the thin blue line
        between you
        and all the money in the world.

        And no you can't have any.

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        • #5
          Bounty Hunters

          Ice-Man......We see these fugitive recory, bail agents quite often up here in New York. Thet're nothing like the LEO's in New York State. Try to intimidate with outrageous costumes and appearance. They are not allowed to be armed without an NYPD carry permit for a handgun and shotguns, etc. are just out. If the agent has a permit he would have to surrender his firearm before entering the Courthouse. They are checked through our mags like any other civilian. Have not yet experienced an extradition handled by a private company, but the same firearms restrictions would apply there also.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Glockgirl26
            I provide security for the Common Pleas Court in my county. Here in Ohio, peace officers do not have to surrender their weapons when they are in court unless it is federal court. I am also a certified peace officer (deputy sheriff) and also armed in the courthouse. I have been working for the sheriff's office for well over 5 years and am familiar with most law enforcement in this area. I've had a few come in that I didn't know immediately, but only 2 who didn't like being asked for ID. But, when they are in plain clothes and I don't recognize them, that's my job. Once they have identified themselves, I am all about professional courtesy. Other counties may have different policies and procedures. Mostly, the transport officers are responsible for the inmates, but I do provide assistance with them from time to time, as well as working the entrance, providing security in the courtroom or taking people into custody when they have been sentenced or had bond revoked.
            Fewer and fewer counties in new york have deputies providing security. Where I live only weapons screaning deps. can carry firearms. When they leave the mags they must demount their weapon. ??Do any other states have state court officer??

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            • #7
              Lt. explorer---The contract deputies are not armed full status LEOs? if so, now you have a reason why State Court Officers are moving into Courts across the State.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dinosaur32
                Lt. explorer---The contract deputies are not armed full status LEOs? if so, now you have a reason why State Court Officers are moving into Courts across the State.
                Is it true that even though court officers are just considered peace officers not police, can they still enforce all laws anywhere in the state. BTW Our court deputy academy is 14 weeks + and they can qualify to carry firearms.
                Last edited by AmericanMan; 09-07-2005, 08:54 PM.

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                • #9
                  Court Officers

                  New York State Court Officers are Peace Officers. We are fully qualified in firearms and authorized to carry on and off duty. In New York State an LEO's arrest powers are determined by the job's area of jurisdiction. This applies whether a Police Officer or Peace Officer. An NYPD officer has limited off duty arrest powers outside the City due to NYPD's NYC jurisdiction. Court Officers have statewide jurisdiction since the Office of Court Administration controls all courts in the state. Court officers are the only Peace Officer title with stop and frisk powers. Using the term "just Peace Officers" implies a lesser stature, when one of the reasons for Peace Officer status is that our main function is to keep the peace in the courts. We often work c;osely with various police agencies, at the same time safeguarding the impartiality of the courts.
                  Last edited by Dinosaur32; 09-07-2005, 09:39 PM.

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                  • #10
                    The County Court judge here has made it very clear that no Deputies are to be carrying any firearm in his courtroom....makes no sense to me but he is the judge
                    ...

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                    • #11
                      Firearms in courtrooms

                      There were a few judges in New York that held that belief until the events surrounding 9/11. After that and the various anthrax scares, the administrative judges pushed that philosophy aside. Now except for officers assigned to prisoner details Court Officers are armed throughout the courthouse.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ICE-MAN
                        Am a cop in FL what is up with private companies handleing extradition for prisoners. They are not sworn what are there requierments. They can also go anywhere in the U.S. armed who are these people I have never had a conversation with one because I dont want to offend them when I start to interrogate them about what they do and there policys.

                        Its cheaper than paying a county deputy.
                        I don't answer recruitment messages....

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BS_CJ
                          The County Court judge here has made it very clear that no Deputies are to be carrying any firearm in his courtroom....makes no sense to me but he is the judge
                          That is the way it is up here and that is good. If weapons screening are doing their jobs, there is no reason for the floor deps. to pack

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                          • #14
                            Sorry to disabuse you of that happy thought, Lt. Explorer, but you're just not dealing with the numbers and type of people we deal with in the metro area. Have a friend who was an unarmed campus police Officer for SUNY. He was in any number more fights than I've been in. Go up against five or six mutts without the firearm and you stand a good chance of getting into a brawl. The gun, when they are unarmed, is a major deterrent. So be happy for now, but change is in the wind. Are your courtroom deputies at least firearms qualified? If not how do they clear and secure firearm evidence?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dinosaur32
                              Sorry to disabuse you of that happy thought, Lt. Explorer, but you're just not dealing with the numbers and type of people we deal with in the metro area. Have a friend who was an unarmed campus police Officer for SUNY. He was in any number more fights than I've been in. Go up against five or six mutts without the firearm and you stand a good chance of getting into a brawl. The gun, when they are unarmed, is a major deterrent. So be happy for now, but change is in the wind. Are your courtroom deputies at least firearms qualified? If not how do they clear and secure firearm evidence?
                              About have of the deputies are firearms qualified. There are about 130 deputies working the court. Only qualified deps. can do weapons screening. One of these dep.s might do weapons screening before morning court, then clear their holster and take a floor position, and then come back to do screening before 1400 hrs. court. All deps. do have oc and all dep.s are sceduled to receive asp baton training if they have not already. Also the sheriff has permited all court dep.s to carry tazers. Some judges here don't even want an official who is testifying to be armed while in their court. I have not seen or heard of a better court system. The use of a tazer, oc, and asp's eliminate the danger that could be caused by having a firearm in the court. What happened in Atlanta and what happened in Texas 10 years ago will never happen here.

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