From the bench: Safety at our courts in an uncertain world
With an increase of violence being reported in courthouses across the country, and an overall increase of tragic events making headlines in recent years, the state of Arizona has led the way with implementing security standards across our state to increase public safety at our courthouses.
Following the recommendations of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Security Standards Committee and the adoption of those recommendations by Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Order 2017-15, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has been working to develop and implement court security standards and guidelines for all our courts, from the largest to the smallest court in Tusayan. We have embraced those standards both at the Williams Justice Center and for our court services provided at Town Hall in Tusayan.
A statewide standardized Court Security Officer (CSO) training program is planned for roll-out this year. The AOC has partnered with the Judicial Branch Security Department of the Superior Court in Maricopa County to adapt an existing 40-hour CSO training program for statewide use. The existing CSO training curriculum aligns well with National Center for State Courts CSO training recommendations and the US Marshals CSO training program, and work is underway to further refine the curriculum for statewide use.
Following the pilot program and any necessary curriculum revisions, a one-week CSO Certification Academy will be offered regularly starting in late summer 2019 so that all Court Security Officers in the state can expeditiously complete this mandatory training and certification program. Our court bailiffs will attend this training plus a separate firearms training element. Although our bailiffs at the Williams Justice Center are retired peace officers in the State of Arizona and came into their positions with, and have maintained peace officer training standards, all current and new hire bailiffs at our court will be required to attend the new training academy being developed.
We will continue to strive to provide the best customer service possible in a safe and efficient environment.
More information is available at https://www.azcourts.gov/cscommittees/Court-Security-Standards-Committee or https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/22/admorder/Orders17/2017-15.pdf.