Security in the courthouse? Cincy judges tell COPS to stay out too.
The Cincinnati Post is reporting that, while the rest of the country is examining how to beef up security in courthouses, several judges and the court administrator are reminding police they can't bring personal guns into the building.
From the story:
- "I have concerns that police officers are bringing weapons into court on non-course-of-employment cases," Court Administrator Mike Walton said Tuesday.
"If you're a police officer or a fireman or whatever and you're down here on your own private, non-law enforcement matter, you're precluded from bringing a gun in."
Those concerns were raised after Stephen Roach -- a Cincinnati police officer when he shot an unarmed black man in 2001 in Over-the-Rhine, sparking Cincinnati's race riots -- was in court last week as a defendant in a civil case. During a trip to the restroom, he lost the gun he carries while off-duty.
Roach, now an Evendale officer, reported the lost gun three hours later to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, which is in charge of courthouse security. The gun hasn't been found.
The court's local rule notes that no weapons are allowed in the courthouse except for the "official side arm" used by law enforcement officers within the scope of their employment. That right doesn't apply to officers in court for reasons "outside the scope of their employment."
"If they're a party or a witness in a civil action, they're not allowed to bring a private sidearm in," Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Schweikert told the newspaper. "It does suggest that maybe (Roach) did not consider that and maybe we need to reiterate that if police are bringing in private firearms, they should consider that."
Roach’s punishment for carelessly losing his firearm? Evendale Police Chief Gary Foust placed a letter of reprimand in his file.
Off-duty officer's gun lost/ stolen from Hamilton Co. courthouse