MIDDLEPORT -- The Royalton Town Board on Monday unanimously adopted a local law creating six security officer positions for the town courts.
The town will create these six new positions to rotate among the courts presided over by Town Justices Laura Wagner and Gregory Bass. Two security officers will be assigned to a court at a time under the new plan, increasing coverage from the current single officer. No date has yet been set for the new plan’s implementation. One of the two judges holds traffic court every Tuesday evening at Town Hall, and each judge also conducts criminal court once a month and civil court when necessary.
The town has budgeted a total of $16,000 a year for the new positions, according to Daphne Nieman, Royalton’s chief court clerk.
Nieman said the new security officers will begin their duties “as soon as possible. But there are multiple steps to this.”
She added that she believes “Royalton is one of the last, if not the last municipality in Niagara County to get these (additional) security officer positions.”
In another safety measure, the town installed a metal detector at Town Hall earlier this month.
These security measures were required to bring the town into compliance with state laws instituted in 2007, according to Nieman, who wrote the grant applications to help cover some of the costs. Nieman said the town was awarded $9,400 in grant money from the state’s Justice Court Assistance Program for the metal detector, along with an additional $4,400 for filing cabinets this year. The JCAP program has supplied other grant money to help reconfigure the courtroom to meet the standards in the past few years, Nieman said.
“It’s been a long process,” she said. “We had to change the layout of the courtroom so that the judge enters from the rear and the bench had to be raised two steps higher than the galley floor. We had single chairs before, but we had to have linked chairs, so now there are five linked chairs to a row.”