FINAL REPORT
CASE #0900 COURTHOUSE SECURITY

REASON FOR INVESTIGATION

Members of the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury (SJCCGJ) observed inconsistencies in the security procedures followed for public and employees when entering the San Joaquin county courthouse.

BACKGROUND

Members observed items carried into the courthouse by-passing the security measures in place.

Members observed people by-passing the security measures in place.

Members observed inconsistencies in which the hand held magnetometer is used.

METHOD OF INVESTIGATION

The SJCCGJ conducted interviews with members of the Courthouse Security Committee and a representative of the STARS (Sheriffs Team of Retired Seniors).

The most current security service contract and security policies were reviewed.

Observation of the main entrance was continued.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

The SJCCGJ finds the courthouse security policy and guidelines are not followed in a consistent manner.

Items carried into the courthouse such as a sack lunch often do not get x-rayed or scanned with the magnetometer.

Employees of the courthouse use the same entrance as the public, this can cause the security officers to become familiar with the employees and allow them to by-pass the security system.

The inconsistencies in which the entrance of the courthouse is managed may cause the employees of the courthouse and the public to feel unsafe.

The current security service is working under an expired contract.

The Courthouse Security Committee does not have regularly scheduled meetings.

The employees of the courthouse have no avenue to voice their concerns regarding courthouse security.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The SJCCGJ recommends the security policy and guidelines be reviewed and implemented consistently.

A quarterly review of the security policy and guidelines for the employees of the security service that work at the courthouse.

The security service should employ people with law enforcement background whenever possible.

A current security contract should be negotiated and signed.

The Courthouse Security Committee should hold quarterly meetings that are open to the employees of the courthouse to allow them a place to voice their concerns.

Consider appointing a non-classified employee to the Courthouse Security Committee.

Explore the possibility of a separate entrance for employees and/or establish security or picture identification cards.

RESPONSE REQUIRED

Pursuant to section 933.05 of the Penal Code:

The Courthouse Security Committee shall report to the Presiding Judge of the San Joaquin Superior Court, in writing and within 90 days of publication of this report, the response indicate one of the following:

As to each finding in the report, a response indicating one of the following

  1. The respondent agrees with the finding/
  2. The respondent disagrees with the finding with an explanation of reasons therefore.

As to each recommendation, a response indicating one of the following.

  1. The recommendation has been implemented, with a summary of the action taken.
  2. The recommendation has not yet been implemented, but will be with a timeframe for implementation.
  3. The recommendation requires further analysis, with an explanation of the scope of the analysis and a timeframe not to exceed 6 months.
  4. The recommendation will not be implemented, with an explanation therefore.