Court Officer / Associate Court Officer (State wide vacancies )

Discussion in 'Massachusetts Employment' started by Foxy85, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    Javert you seem to have a lot of great knowledge of the job and training academy. How long have you been a Court Officer??
     
  2. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    It seems to me that the Trial Court like to waste the tax payer dollars with this type of academy. Do Court Officers have any powers outside of the court house AND off of court house property (which is just the sidewalks around the court house)???
     
  3. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    No, they were trying to pass a bill to change the jurisdiction but not sure whatever came of it. It seems to come up every few years much like group 4 retirement, but never seems to get enough support in the legislature. Some of the things they have implemented were necessary such as mandatory in service training for current security staff. However they went a bit overboard with some of the hiring requirements.
     
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  4. Javert

    Javert MassCops Member

    MP503: I've been on a day or two. This type of academy is not a waste of money. "Court Security" itself is not often thought of in the world of LE or corrections. However, the fact is that we deal with people and situations that no one else in LE or corrections deals with. The court takes kids away from parents. It takes land or homes away from families. Sometimes, a person walks into court and leaves in cuffs "I remand you into the custody of the Sheriff....." Bottom line, the chance of a situation going sideways is always present and there is NO shortage of people who want to harm the judicial institution. (......then toss in the random active shooter)

    We need to be able to control and maintain an environment capable of conducting such business. Do we need Navy SEALs to do so? No, in short. However, we DO need trained, disciplined and able Officers who can ensure order when it hits the fan. Want to talk about tax payer money being wasted? What do you think Mr. & Mrs. John Q would say if they knew the old way of doing things? The fact that their safety while in court was in the hands of 71 year old Steven Shitpants who was only there because he drove for Senator Don Dumbfuk?

    Take a look at how court security is done ANYWHERE other then New England. You will see Sheriff's Deputies (Police Officers) ARMED mostly. In NY they have full out PATROL units who drive marked cruisers around NYC and Albany 24/7. The sad fact is MA simply has A TON of catching up to do. If this was not the case, most of the senior Justices would not have voiced their concerns when the current director took over.

    If we can't provide a modern, proactive agency then perhaps we should simply be disbanded and the responsibility be handed over to the Sheriff.



    PS: We had an arrest several streets over from court for an A&B on court property. Fresh and continuous was argued and upheld. That's not the first time that's happened.
     
  5. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    It is true that Mass Courts are so far behind other states and yes I understand that the Sheriffs in pretty much all the other states work the Courts and the NY has a full Court Officer Police department that have cruisers and serve court papers. Just look how we use our Sheriffs compared to every other state in the United States of America. I do agree that the courts deal with SOME different stuff other than LE and corrections but not a lot like you are making it seem.

    I do agree with you that hiring process was a joke before but this is Massachusetts and we all know the Golden Dome controls everything!! I think you have been on for a good amount of time and have plenty of years under your belt with both the old and new director which would lead me to believe that you were hired by the old hiring process. I am just shocked on how much you put down and talk bad about your fellow officers and brothers and sisters the ACO's. You seem to think you are better then them and think you should or that you have a right to disrespect them. The probation department doesn't treat the APOs the way that you and the security department treats the ACOs.

    I'm at a court where there is 3 CO (1 CO been on for 20 years and 2 new CO both on the job for about 2 years) and 1 ACO I think he has been working for 6 years. This ACO knows what to do in the court room more than the 2 new CO who have been on for 2 years, ACO is in great shape, and is in charge when the 20 year CO vet is out for the day!! I have spoken with the 2 new COs and they have no idea on any court room procedures or how to fill out a simple MITT. I have no idea why this ACO hasn't had the cut to become a CO (I think it is because how small my court is and flies under the radar) but he has been doing the of a CO for 2+ years but you think he wouldn't be good enough to work with you?? Not only does probation and the Sheriffs deal with the ACO more than the 2 new CO but even the clerks offices does! This training academy seems to be teaching you guys on how to become police officer and not Court Officers which is what you men and women are. The training show mostly be about Court room procedures and paperwork and what their role is inside of the court house. I just find it to be a waste of time and money when the new CO have no idea what to do inside of a court room and it is pretty embarrassing for a 8 week training academy.
     
  6. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    I would agree with you on them going overboard on this training academy with the way they are running it and what they are teaching the new CO. You seem you have been on for a long time and have a lot of great information. Are you on the union board or are you just a real active member who knows a lot about the job and what is really going on. Do you feel like all this police training is good for CO or do you think they should cut it back and focus more on court room procedures?
     
  7. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    I have been on for a decent amount of time with the old and new director. I attend the union meetings when they come around and have expressed my views. I have worked in several courts, and have workef with some great chiefs, and some not so good. Many of the court officers who came in under the old director say most of the what you learn is more on the job than in the academy. I think the fto program of being mentored for 12 weeks was a great idea compared to what was before. Did they need to cover more topics, add more training excercises and lengthen the academy Absolutely! But they went in the wrong direction by running it like a police academy, with mandatory stay, too much military drill and inspections. Some physical fitness is important I don't think it needs to be cooper standards.
     
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  8. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    Do you blame the union for not stepping up more for their members and telling the new upper management what needs to be worked on? The new director and his people are all from the Federal side and don't know how the court system works in Mass
     
  9. Javert

    Javert MassCops Member

    If you must know......I have been on less then 4 years (ACO + CO combined.) I got the job right out of the Military (and with an AS in CJ) because in the middle of the JJ O'Brian shit storm the court had to hire a few nobodies and I was simply one of them (lucky me.) I got the CO job primarily because when it came around I was in shape with a passing test score. Also by that time I completed the R/I Academy and was (and still am) a part time SSPO.

    I'm not making this job out to be anything that it's not. Yes we do deal with ALOT procedure wise that a cop or CO may never have to deal with. Have you ever had to physically seperate a father from his 6 year old because the Judge ordered it? I must that missed that episode of COPS or Behind Bars.

    Ive also never bashed the ACOs. They are good at what they do. Can some do more? Sure, and that's great. But dont confuse my honestly with harshness. I've simply met more less then desierable ACOs then I have desireable.

    What's your solution to the PT test since you dislike Cooper and how come you have not been promoted yet?
     
  10. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    Just my .02 cents.....

    I have never worked for the Trial Court in any capacity, I am however a police officer that attends court fairly regularly. From my observations, I like what the Trial Court is trying to do. I feel the new director is trying to lay down a foundation to improve upon. You need a well trained staff, before you start talking about firearms, police powers etc. I personally think Court Officers should be armed, have walking patrols etc. Often times, after the morning session, there are no more police officers in the building, because we all want our quick 4 and get the hell out. If any type of disturbance was to happen, that required the use of a Taser, pepper spray, baton etc., or God forbid a firearm, the CO's are in a world of trouble.

    In New Hampshire, the Sheriffs have control of the court house. They have armed bailiffs in the court rooms. Rhode Island has Sheriffs in the court rooms and armed Capital Police, staff the metal detectors and perform exterior patrols. Every state in New England does it differently, however in Massachusetts were the only ones unarmed. I truly hope in the next 5-10 years, CO's are able to be armed and provided the proper tools. Its in everyone's best interest and seems like common sense legislation for it to happen.
     
  11. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    Hard to say, the union claims they tried to tell the new director that some of what he was implementing was not going to work. We do have some new union officers, that will be working the on new contract. They are allowing ACOs to renew first responder certification and learn DT, along with other CO1 duties that have been introduced during in service training. So there is a valid argument, that a majority of ACOs can do more. But only time will tell.
     
  12. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    I am not trying to say the job is easy at all!!! I understand about family probate court and trust me its no fun at all. have you ever had to do a house visit to check in and make sure the person is living there since they were put on probation? I would pick taking a child away in a court house instead of house checks out in the public

    I am not in security so I wouldn't be promoted in your process. I don't like the way they are running the academy because of what I said before, we have two new CO that were in the 2nd class (I think) and to this day they have no idea how to do the job of a Court Officer BUT they can run and do a push up. Do you think this is a problem or do you think the training academy did their job? Please don't get me wrong I agree with some type of PT but I think your academy is now 8 weeks long and I have a friend that is in the class that is going on now and passed the Cooper test and I asked him what a Mitt was and he said he had no idea and its week 5 or 6. I think this is a HUGE problem.
     
  13. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    So the ACOs are doing DT, First Responder and all the training that COs are doing now and they are not being promoted?? Seems like the ACO might have a good case on their hands. Is there anything that the ACOs are missing since they are doing the same training?
     
  14. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    This is true but if anything ever did go down it wouldn't be the Court Officers in trouble it would be the Clerks office, Probation or the poor ACOs at the front door that would be in trouble. By the time they got to the Court Officers MSP and local police would be there.
     
  15. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    ACOs have no arrest powers that really is the only difference.
     
  16. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    In order to graduated from the academy, there are written exams on courtroom procedures. I believe they are given remedial with one make up exam. But, I don't think it is difficult if you have some education or training prior to getting on board. I have been out of school almost 20 years and understand the concepts that they teach at in service training and first responder.
     
  17. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    Which isn't hard to get the arrest powers since all they need to do is say "you now have arrest powers" and swear you in
     
  18. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    Yes I understand that their are test in the academy but like I said two new COs on the job for 2+ years and have NO IDEA on how to do the job. This is what the "new" academy is known for. My court is not the only one in the state that is having major problems with new hire COs off the street.
     
  19. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    That has sort of been a rumor floating around with the union and management, that they might give the ACOs white shirts with silver badges, with a few step raises. There would be some training in arrest procedures, but not 8 weeks. The problem is there are still a lot of ACOs left in the system about 150 who have a lot of years left, and attrition is only a few a year. It will actually be the new trial court administrator-harry spence's replacement who will be negotiating the new contract. This issue and many others really need to be looked at.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  20. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    WOW I didn't know there was that many ACOs left in the Courts. We have heard that they are just going to let the ACOs go in two contracts (6 years) if they can not do the training academy (not sure how true this is or not. I think we all know how rumors are in the Commonwealth lol).
    Yes we are also waiting for whoever is taking over Harry Spence's administrator positon. Security and Probation is due for a big bump in pay and benefits for all the training you guys do and all the extra class, paperwork and training we have to do in probation! Group 4 for Nage?? Lets hope so
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
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  21. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    .
    I was glad to see that the APOs got raises last year for more duties. In my courts that I work in, I have met a few who are very professional. They have a lot of responsibilities counter and lock up intakes, and dispositions in the courtrooms, and they are extremely important to probation dept.
     
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  22. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    I have not heard that rumor, about the ACOs being gone in six years. I think management and the union will try to negotiate something to get as many ACOs who want to get promoted through, it probably will be some sort of reasonable fitness standards test. Like the voluntary pat test for court officers. In some regions there are non screening posts, like employee garages and entrances staffed with ACOs, which would be left for some of the remaining ACOs.
     
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  23. MP503

    MP503 MassCops Member

    Yes it was a great move by probation. The APO job is now a real stepping stone to move into the PO position. They supervise cases now and have their own case load.
     
  24. Tiponice

    Tiponice MassCops Member

    Anyone recently contacted for the May academy? If so, how far in the process are you? Thanks.
     
  25. fjd1075

    fjd1075 MassCops Member

    I got contacted last week asking if I was wanted a deferment for the May academy. I replied back and said no, and sent a copy of my medical clearance that was done through the trial court though it just expired. I got as far as the background check last year. My pat test expired but not sure if they are waving that or not.
     
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