Secure the courthouse

The Erie County Commissioners did make an effort to beef up the security in one very glaring area, that of screening who and what co
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

The Erie County Commissioners did make an effort to beef up the security in one very glaring area, that of screening who and what comes into the Erie County Courthouse on a daily basis.

The Register's editorial questioned weather it is necessarily needed on a day-in and day-out basis. It is, not only to protect those who work in the courthouse but also the many people who have business there.

I attended a trial recently of a drive by shooting so I could see firsthand how the security was handled. The sheriff's deputies on hand did an excellent job of securing the courtroom and some people were checked with a hand wand.

Unfortunately, not all people were searched, and who knows if someone who should not have had one, had a weapon during that trial. We have been very fortunate these many years without a major incident happening at out courthouse because of the lack of proper security.

In Ohio, Erie County is in with a distinct minority of counties that do not provide security at their courthouses. We are fortunate to have a quality security force in the Erie County Sherif'fs office. I would not want to limit any of these deputies to a small area of the courthouse when they could be utilized elsewhere in the county if we were fortunate enough to have the funds to hire them.

The security at some other counties' courthouses are are handled by the judges who have had their bailiffs deputized. These bailiffs will then handle the supervision of screening of all visitors and employees.

As far as your comment "It appears to be a new bureaucratic layer," it is somewhat accurate. It is a new security layer that is long overdue for the well-being of our county employees at the courthouse and the citizens who use this facility.

Bill Monaghan

Erie County Commissioner