Middletown boosts security for municipal court to join rest of Butler County

Those entering Middletown Municipal Court are facing increased security because of new equipment.

Shortly after Judge James Sherron took office in December 2017, he assessed the court’s security operation. After looking at other court security operations in the area, the court received a quote for a Smith Detection Heimann X-ray machine for $34,625. These are the same machines used in many airports and other courtrooms across the state and country.

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Sherron collaborated on a grant proposal to the Ohio Supreme Court, and it awarded Middletown Municipal Court the full amount. After training the bailiffs who areresponsible for court security, the machine went active in July, according to Chief Bailiff Bill Orsborne.

The security is manned whenever court is in session. It is the last court in the county to implement a permanent scanning system for everyone entering court. Previously, citizens walked through a metal detector, and bags and possessions from pockets and jackets were search manually.

It was a much slower process, according to Sherron and Orsborne.

The new protocol was implemented for the safety of the citizens as well as court and prosecutor personnel. The new procedure also streamlines the process for anyone who enters the court area, officials said.

“It was implemented with the purpose of security and making the process more efficient, quicker for everyone,” Sherron said.

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The judge said he “absolutely” feels safer.

“I trusted my bailiffs before and now they have even another line of security,” Sherron said.

Acting Middletown Police Chief Scott Reeve said the new system helps to ensure security. The court has its own security, but police will often attend when asked to help, especially if the court is crowded with people in a highly emotion case.

“It protects them (police and court personnel) and the public,” Reeve said.

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