Court Officers – Marshals
Court-related personnel are those law enforcement officers who help establish and maintain order in court rooms. These officers may be referred to as bailiffs, marshals or court officers. Court officers serving in federal courts are referred to as U.S. marshals and deputy marshals. Their job is to maintain safety and order in the nation’s courts and to provide court house security.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Court Officer
Bailiff’s duties vary depending on the officer’s exact station.
The job may entail standing as security during court room proceedings, transporting prisoners to and from court, and ensuring witness security, among other things.
General Requirements and Training
To become a court officer, a person must be a U.S. citizen aged 21 to 37, hold a bachelor’s degree or appropriate work experience in lieu of this, and have a valid driver’s license. Applicants are also required to undergo medical testing, a background check and interviews.
Training for court officers will vary depending on the level of the job. Federal deputy marshals must attend a 17 week training program at the U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy at Glynco, Georgia. The training program covers a variety of topics including computer training, court security tactics, firearms training, how to handle high threat trials, surveillance methods, courtroom procedure, prisoner search and restraint methods, and more.
Salary, Benefits and Room for Advancement
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the median annual earnings of bailffs as $34,210 as of May 2006, with the middle 50 percent of bailiffs earning from $25,130 to $48,010 annual base salary.
According to the U.S. Deputy Marshals home page, all positions are filled at the GL-5 ($36,658 to $41,260, as of January 2008) or GL-7 ($41,729 to $46,969), not including locality pay.
At any level, court officers are likely to receive benefits such as retirement plan, paid vacation, health and dental.
Whether at the local, state or federal level, court officers are likely to have opportunities for advancement to more senior supervisory positions in their field.