County prepares to hire security guards

ERIE COUNTY Deputies working for the Erie County Sheriff's office aren't pleased, but the county sho
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010

ERIE COUNTY

Deputies working for the Erie County Sheriff's office aren't pleased, but the county should have part-time security guards in place at the Erie County Courthouse within the next few weeks.

Responding to pleas from the Erie County Bar Association, Erie County's commissioners agreed earlier this year to take weapons-screening machines out of mothballs and screen all visitors coming inside the courthouse.

To save money, commissioners decided to hire four part-time guards rather than giving Sheriff Terry Lyons additional full-time deputies to man the machines.

Juvenile Court Judge Robert DeLamatre said late last week he has been through the first round of interviews for the new guards and will complete a couple of second interviews this week.

The judge, asked when courthouse security will be in place, said he has avoided being pinned down for a specific time.

"We have purposely not tried to identify any specific dates," he said.

But the judge said security screening should be underway in a matter of weeks.

"I'm hoping within the first couple of weeks of the first of the year, we're going to have that all in place and have that screening started," the judge said.

The guards will report to the judges.

That decision has not gone over well with theFraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Councilunion that represents deputies, sergeants andlieutenants serving under Sheriff Terry Lyons.

The president of the union, Deputy David Hippely, could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon or Monday.

Lyons said the union believes the county's plan violates two provisions of the union's contract.