Court Security Officers Participate in Pilot Training Program
More than a dozen court security officers practiced their wand-waving skills, making sure metal objects such as knives or guns don’t go unnoticed.
It’s one part of a pilot program designed to train court security officers on proper protocols to ensure the safety of all judges, court staff, and the public who work or visit Ohio courthouses.
The Ohio Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Court Security worked with the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (OPOTA) and the Court’s Judicial College to develop curriculum to train court security officers across the state.
The first course launched this month with other sessions scheduled for later this year. In all there will be nine courses offered including sessions on communication skills and taser and firearms use.
“Mostly we’re trying to reinforce that even though there are several ways to do things, that there are best practices, and we’re trying to establish consistency in training as much as we can throughout the state when it comes to security screening,” Aaron Coey, OPOTA Law Enforcement Training officer, said.
Judge Chris Roberts said he oversees court security at Dayton Municipal Court and attended the training session to better understand what should happen in the courthouse.
“We hear about incidences all over the country, on a weekly basis almost, but until it happens in our home, we don’t take it serious, but I think it’s something that every judge should take seriously,” Judge Roberts said. “So, I just try to learn as much as I can and make sure I’m aware and prepared.”
Judicial College Director Christy Tull agrees that court security education is essential.
“I credit the judges and the court personnel who have seen this need for years, and we at the Judicial College partnered internally with our court security officers about a year and a half ago,” Tull said. “There’s a need for increased security or just basically getting folks as competent as they can be in their duties in that area,” Tull said.
Bailiff Chris Evans said he looks forward to taking what he learned back to Kettering Municipal Court.
“It’s been educational,” Evans said. “Whenever I come to training, it puts me in a thinking pattern, so I’m always thinking about our security, and as they’re speaking, I’m seeing how it relates to me and how I can do things better. But I always get motivated when I come to training, so I can go back and teach others and how others, ‘Hey, we can do this better,’ so it’s always good to go do training.”