Heightened fears of violence have triggered a tangible increase of security at U.S. courthouses, and Idaho's Nez Perce County Courthouse is the latest to join the trend of replacing traditional bailiffs with armed law enforcement. In many cases, courtroom bailiffs are not certified to carry firearms, but may be equipped with tasers.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports
Nez Perce County Sheriff Joe Rodriguez cited increased threats of violence against public employees for his decision to replace two bailiffs with a combined 43 years at the county courthouse with three armed sheriff's deputies.
One Nez Perce courthouse employee told the Tribune
that she was a victim of violence.
"A customer attacked an employee of mine and me with office furnishings. The employee ended up with a head wound and stitches and I had a bruised chest," clerk/auditor Patty Weeks told the Tribune
. "There is a responsibility to provide the public and public employees a certain level of security."