[HISTORY: Adopted by the Orangetown Town Board 2-25-2008 by L.L. No. 1-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: Former Ch. 7B, Consumer Protection Board, adopted 7-15-1974 by L.L. No. 6-1974, was repealed 6-25-1984 by L.L. No. 15-1984.
The Town of Orangetown Justice Court, like most local Town and village courts throughout the state, conducts its actual courtroom sessions (both criminal and civil) on a regular, but generally less than full-time, schedule. As such, the Court does not require full-time courtroom security, or the personnel costs associated with a staff of full-time court security officers. That fact notwithstanding, the need for armed security personnel in and about local courtrooms, in order to ensure that weapons and other contraband that could pose a significant and imminent danger not only to court personnel but to those members of the public who have business before the Court, is more apparent today than ever before. Relatively minor matters between parties have been seen to erupt into violence in our courtrooms; and, recently, in one local Rockland County Village Court, a spectator secreted a firearm into the courtroom and discharged it, nearly striking the sitting Justice.
The use of full-time police officers for courtroom security is not only costly but takes trained officers away from the other duties for which they were hired. The creation and use of a Town Constabulary, consisting of part-time peace officers, rather than full-time police officers, is a cost-effective means by which to address a very real need confronting the Town, without interfering with its other law enforcement responsibilities.
The Town of Orangetown hereby establishes a Town Constabulary, the members of which shall be authorized to act in the capacity of uniformed court officers and shall have the responsibilities generally associated with such position in and about the Town Court as hereinafter set forth. Town Constables shall be appointed by the Town Board but shall work under the direct supervision of the Town Justices.
Persons holding the position of Town Constable shall have the status of, and shall be granted and exercise the powers of, a "peace officer" under the general laws of the State of New York.
Town Constables shall have those powers and responsibilities consistent, and generally associated, with a court officer in the State of New York, including but not necessarily limited to:
Attending sessions of the Town Court to maintain order and decorum in the courtroom;
Calming disruptive individuals;
Barring entry into secure areas of and about the courtroom;
Addressing and attending to disruptive prisoners, litigants and spectators involved in court proceedings;
Escorting, guarding and delivering jurors, witnesses and other participants of court proceedings to and from the courtroom;
Escorting, guarding and delivering the Judge and/or Clerk to and from the courtroom, as may be required;
Delivering materials to sequestered juries;
Escorting court clerks with bank deposits to and from the Court offices and courthouse to the bank;
Using established search procedures and equipment to assure that no weapons, contraband or other prohibited items or materials are brought into the courthouse or courtroom;
Carrying, displaying and using a firearm, subject to any permit, training and certification requirements and qualifications otherwise imposed by law;
Effecting arrests as required and authorized.
No person holding the position of Town Constable shall carry or otherwise possess a firearm on Town property other than in conformity with state and federal law and after having successfully completed such initial training and instruction, and any required in-service or follow-up training and instruction, required for a peace officer authorized to carry a firearm under the laws of the State of New York.