Monday, December 13, 2010

Municipal Court judges honor officers

A year ago, I transferred one of our traffic enforcement squads to take over some security duties at Kansas City Municipal Court. Today, the people those officers protect honored them for their service with an officer appreciation day.

At the presentation today, Judge Elena Franco described what life at the court was like before the officers showed up. She said, "I was always fearful something could happen. There were so many near misses. ... We had no way to protect anyone in this building. I lost a lot of sleep."

Then the eight officers and one sergeant arrived in November 2009. Judge Franco said today, "It changed everything about the dynamic of the courthouse. I've heard of so many incidents that have been quashed because you were here." She went on to say she'd also heard many compliments about the officers from prosecutors, defense attorneys, court staff and even court attendees. Many said having the officers present made them feel safer. Some surprisingly high-level offenders are in Municipal Court, and before the officers came, the only thing separating attorneys and judges from sometimes angry spectators was a wooden bar.

I'm proud of these officers and was pleased they received recognition today. The court staff even chipped in to get them cake and punch and bought them all giftcards to a nearby sandwich shop. The squad is pictured above with Presiding Judge Katherine Bromfield Emke. 

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