If you’ve seen any courtroom dramas or true crime shows (or even the news!), you’ve probably come across a court officer without even knowing you were looking at one. It’s those guys in uniforms (sometimes not in uniforms but in suits) who stand to either side of a prisoner, ready to pounce if someone makes an attempt at mischief-mongering.
Now that you know what a court officer is, it’ll be easier to understand their duties and the road to becoming one.
Court officers are policemen, law enforcement officers with one mission: to ensure that law and order prevail inside the court. These officers are specifically meant for court hearings and trials. Their duties, similarly, are extensive, including but not limited to:
- Maintain order in the courtroom
- Scanning the room for trouble before, during, and after the trial
- Ensuring the safety of all parties involved, such as the witnesses, judge, jury, attorneys, attendees, and even the defendant
- Escorting defendants and the jury to respective holding rooms
- Swift intervention in the event of a disruption
- Monitoring trials to ensure courtroom decorum is maintained and the protocol is followed by all parties involved
- Enforce the decisions made by the judges (such as the removal of a violent person from the courtroom)
- Ensuring the defendants don’t escape
As is obvious, the job is taxing and physically intensive, which requires intense training and diligence on the part of a court officer. As long as a court officer is inside a courtroom, they’re responsible for extending the state’s laws within that setting. Several people are involved in hearings and trials, and the officer must ensure that everyone from the judge to the defendant is safe and unhurt.
Additionally, there are several secondary duties that a court officer must take care of. These include:
- Preparing the court documents and the required records for trials
- referring clients to social services
- Case investigations
- Checking up on attorneys and on defendants to ensure they’re following the law
- Forensics when needed, such as the collection of DNA samples and other physical evidence
Becoming an NYC Court Officer
It’s obvious that becoming a court officer is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires physical fitness, presence of mind, problem-solving skills, and adeptness with a firearm (which will be issued by the court).
They also need to have exceptional interpersonal skills since they’ll need to handle unsavory situations and violent episodes inside courtrooms very often. They’re also required to have considerable knowledge of courtroom protocol, legal jargon, and should be able to communicate well.
If you’re 18, have a valid driver’s license, are a bona fide U.S. citizen, and have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification, you’re eligible to apply for the position of an NYC Court Officer. The 2019 exam is coming up soon, but you can prepare for the next one well ahead of time. To begin preparing, get in touch with Civil Services Success and affiliated groups today. You can find out more about us here and register with us here.