It is the primary function of the Sheriff’s Office to provide a variety of services to the Erie County Court of Common Pleas.
Deputies assigned to courtrooms, hearing rooms or offices within the court structure are given the responsibility of maintaining order and security, and taking custody of defendants who are incarcerated in jail or are sentenced by the court. Deputies also screen people entering entering the security checkpoint to the courthouse.
The courts are divided into several areas:
Criminal Court offers deputies the responsibility of providing security for the entire courtroom. Defendants, witnesses, attorneys, judges, jurors and spectators fall under the deputies’ watchful eye. Evidence must be protected, witnesses separated and family’s victims separated. The court must run at a smooth pace to insure fairness for all concerned, along with the confidence that everyone feels secure.
Family Court is not confined to only the courtroom. It includes hearing rooms and offices of those who enforce Family Law. Emotions often run high in this court, and tempers are easily agitated. Deputies assigned to this court must exercise tact and understanding and be sensitive to the unique problems which may arise.
Juvenile Court Officers face the same security problems as any other courtroom. This duty is unique, however, in that deputies not only deal with young individuals themselves, but also their parent or parents, who may believe that their child has done nothing wrong.
The Office of Children and Youth often conducts hearings in courtrooms and hearing rooms. These hearings must also be monitored and secured. Parents may often lose custody of the child or children to foster care or placement. Deputies must monitor emotional reactions towards those who are pursuing these actions.
The Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide this service to the courts and the citizens of Erie County.