Potter County Child Protection Court to add security to hearings

VIDEO - Potter County Child Protection Court to add security to hearings - KFDA

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Potter County Commissioners Court says there is a need for a police presence during CPS hearings.

The CPS Court is the only court system within Potter County that does not have an assigned bailiff to oversee court proceedings.

Potter County Attorney Scott Brumley says CPS hearings are often full of high emotion, and at times, things can get physical.

“We’re looking for a way to ensure there is security at those hearings. CPS hearings can get very emotionally charged because people aren’t happy to be there," said Brumley. “We’ve had people get physical in hearings, and we’re concerned about the safety of the judge, we’re concerned about the safety of the litigants, and selfishly we’re concerned about the safety of our lawyer who has to go over there and handle those cases.”

In an effort to protect everyone in the courthouse, the Commissioners Court says it is necessary always to have a police presence.

Because the CPS Court is not given funding to hire police officers for this job, the staffed officers on duty will be unpaid and be able to get hands-on police experience while seeking a full-time law enforcement position.

“I look at it as an opportunity for someone who has either worked for a long time in law enforcement, or somebody who’s looking to get in the field and get their foot in the door and start gaining some experience while they work their way towards being a full-time officer,” said Brumley.

Each officer on duty for CPS cases will take on the necessary training and certifications as Peace Officers, and they can use the experience to advance in their cases.

Potter County plans to have officers on duty towards the end of the year, and they encourage anyone who is interested in getting in contact with someone at Potter County Commissioners Court.

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