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Courthouse Support Officers

Stacey Blankenship, Courthouse Support OfficerStacey Blankenship, Courthouse Support OfficerThe Perry County Sheriff's Office provides officers in support of the operation of the Perry County Courthouse in Linden, everyday of the month for the metal detector desk, and on court days there will be a bailiff and transportation officer for court.  Court days are the first, second, third and fourth Thursdays of a month, and second Fridays of a month.  Depending on the court's schedule, they could be there more days than this.  There are signs as you enter the courthouse stating guns and knives are not allowed, as well as cell phones.  This will be enforced diligently by Officer Blankenship.

In the Perry County Courthouse, Deputy Stacy Blankenship provides daily security .  His job duties include monitoring the metal detector, making sure no weapons or cell phones enter the courthouse, and on court day, he is one of several officers who will be making sure everything is wiped down.  COVID-19 has created new duties for this position, none that no one could foresee. 

He will be happy to answer your questions on court days and help you get where you're going anytime, making sure the offices never become overcrowded, to help maintain social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID.  Additionally, his job is to ensure people are not armed as they enter the courthouse and confiscating any unauthorized weapons.  There is a monitor that displays views of all the courthouse areas to make sure nothing suspicious is going on.

On court days there will be a bailiff of the court, James Sharpe, who sits in the courtroom, keeping his eye on the people who are the parties to the docket and the visitors in the courtroom.  It is his job to protect the judge, and

If you ever wondered what a bailiff does, and thought all they did was stand near the judge, you may be interested to learn a bailiff plays an integral role in the criminal justice and legal system.

James Sharpe, BailiffJames Sharpe, BailiffA bailiff provides the courtroom and its occupants with security by making sure they are safe. Their job ranges from searching for bombs and guns to swearing in witnesses. Some bailiff duties include:

      • Ensuring people are not armed as they enter the courtroom and confiscating any unauthorized weapons
      • Declaring the judge’s entry into the courtroom
      • Keeping order during the trial
      • Announcing and enforcing the courtroom rules
      • Escorting prisoners to and from court
      • Handling evidence
      • Ensuring judges have all necessary files and supplies

When a jury is sequestered in a hotel, the bailiff is responsible for security. They accompany the jurors to restaurants or other areas, ensuring the jurors do not contact other people.

Deputy Rob WeemsDeputy Rob Weems, Courtroom Door GuardThere are two holding cells in the Perry County Courthouse for housing inmates awaiting their cases to be called on the day's docket.  The purpose of a holding cell is to prevent inmates from making faces at potential witnesses or intimidating them in any way.  A Sheriff's Deputy must stay with the inmates at all times in the Courthouse. 

While inmates are joining proceedings in the courtroom via Zoom these days, as another safeguard against spreading or cross contaminating the jail and the courthouse with COVID, and protecting visitors and witnesses from intimidation, there are occasions when they must appear in person.  This is when a transportation officer is required.   However, inmates are arraigned via ZOOM telecommunications, and it is rare for an inmate to leave the jail for a court appearance.  There is a giant computer monitor specifically dedicated to ZOOM.

A courtroom security officer maintains safety and security within and and around the Perry County Courthouse. Deputy Rob Weems is a retired police officer with the Memphis City Police Department, and has had special training that enables him to effectively handle the types of issues likely to occur in the court setting. He is responsible for not only protecting judges and other staff, but also visitors and the defendants themselves. He is charged with the duty of maintaining a peaceful, controlled environment within the building, and keeping watch for firearms, explosives and other dangers.

All of the PCSO officers must remain available until the last inmate's case is called.  Between cases, the Courthouse security officers and other Sheriff's Deputies check the courtroom and bathrooms for hidden contraband, cleaning for COVID-19, and security checks into the courthouse.  

For more information on the Court System in Perry County, be sure to visit the website dedicated for this specific purpose, Perry County Court System.  Contact Joy Breeding, Circuit Court Clerk:

 
Phone:  (931) 589-2218
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