The Essex County Sheriff’s Court Security Division is responsible for both perimeter and entrance security at all court facilities. This unit employs armed and trained Sheriff’s officers and trained, uniformed civilian security officers. It is up to these men and women to visually and electronically screen each of the more than almost one million people who enter our court facilities each year.
To facilitate this first line of defense, Sheriff’s officers utilize sophisticated X-ray devices and the latest high-technology magnetometers, similar to those used at airports. Not surprisingly, our officers detect about 20 to 25 weapons and items that could be used as weapons each day. Most of these weapons are knives, but occasionally we discover other contraband such as swords hidden in canes, machetes strapped to legs, and handguns. Sheriff’s officers also regularly detect and seize illegal narcotics from people as they attempt to enter court facilities.
Perimeter patrol of the facility is another important function of our Courts Security Division. Using marked patrol vehicles, courts security officers are linked by radio to other Sheriff’s officers in our Command Center as video surveillance cameras, which surround the facility, monitor all perimeter activity. Officers monitoring surveillance cameras direct perimeter patrol officers to any problems or signs of trouble.