The Court Related Services Unit is responsible for the safety and security of all the judges, jurors, Clerk of the Courts employees, and visitors at the Highlands County Courthouse. This unit consists of eight full time bailiffs and a court support officer; a sergeant and lieutenant supervise the unit. In addition to the full time staff, several part time deputies serve as bailiffs on busy court days to ensure the smooth operation of the courthouse.
The Court Related Services Unit operates security checkpoints at the entrances to the courthouse. Each year, over 150,000 individuals are scanned for weapons prior to entering the courthouse. In addition to the visitors, witnesses, victims, and defendants who enter the courthouse through the front door, the Court Related Services Unit is also responsible for the safety and security of the jail inmates who are brought to the courthouse for trials and other judicial proceedings.
Anytime court is in session, bailiffs are assigned to that courtroom. The bailiff is responsible for protecting the judge and others in the courtroom and maintaining order within the courtroom. Whenever a judge remands a defendant into custody, bailiffs are responsible for physically arresting and processing the defendant. Bailiffs also regularly arrest suspects with outstanding warrants who arrive at the courthouse on other matters.
The Court Related Services Unit is provided with specialized equipment and technology to support its mission, including closed circuit television monitoring, magnetometer scanners, and a dedicated radio channel. In addition to their primary duties, the bailiffs also provide security for County Commission meetings, security checks at the County Administration Building, and security at special public events such as Law Day and the National Day of Prayer.