The Las Vegas District Court Seeks Additional Marshals to Enhance Courthouse Security After Attack on Judge

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Las Vegas District Court is facing a shortage of marshals, raising concerns about the security of the courthouse, according to Chief Judge Jerry Wiese. Currently, the court ideally needs 136 marshals, but only 99 positions are filled. In response to the shortage, plans are underway to bring in additional personnel and fill the openings left by the attack on Clark County Judge Mary Kary Holthus.

Following the recent attack, courtrooms are working to increase security by adding extra staff. Judge Wiese stated that a meeting has been held with a security contractor to bring in additional security personnel for courtroom coverage. It has also been emphasized to Clark County management that there is a need for more Marshal positions in the high-risk calendars.

The court aims to have a second marshal present in courtrooms handling criminal cases. The additional manpower is seen as beneficial, although Judge Wiese acknowledges that it is uncertain whether it could have prevented the attack. Nevertheless, ensuring the safety of the court, its staff, and the public remains a priority.

The process of becoming a marshal is intensive. Candidates must complete a thorough application and interview process, undergo a blood drug test, a background check, and a lie detector test. If successful, they proceed to a Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) certification academy, which involves mental and physical challenges, including exposure to tasers, tackles, boxing, and pepper spray. Recruits are also tested on their knowledge of CPR, first aid, use of force, defensive tactics, and more.

Once recruits have completed the academy and received the P.O.S.T. certification, additional training specific to the courts is required. They are assigned a field training officer who familiarizes them with court procedures. Court marshals undergo training in civil, criminal, and family divisions to prepare for various scenarios. This training is crucial in ensuring that they are equipped to handle their responsibilities and avoid any mistakes that could lead to mistrials.

Evaluation of courtrooms will also be conducted by the justice court to identify any necessary improvements. The commitment to enhancing security and providing a safe environment for all participants in the judicial process is emphasized.

In conclusion, the Las Vegas District Court is addressing a shortage of marshals, which has raised concerns about courthouse security. Efforts are being made to increase staff and improve coverage in courtrooms. The recruitment and training process for marshals is rigorous to ensure their preparedness for the unique challenges of the court environment. Enhancements to courtrooms and ongoing evaluation further emphasize the commitment to security.