MOUNT VERNON — Etiquette and procedure during court proceedings are equally as important as the content of the hearing.
Director of Court Security David Lashley led a seminar in the Knox County Common Pleas courtroom Friday that addressed some of the do’s and don’ts of courtroom behavior – particularly for those who have jobs to do.
Lashley, whose duties include serving as bailiff, talked mostly about the flow of movement and security concerns in the courtroom for the probation officers, law enforcement officers and bailiffs during trials and hearings.
In regards to movement, he emphasized actions during the proceedings that limited distractions and that kept the hearings moving without interruption. He talked about where to walk, what to watch for and how to navigate around the courtroom without disturbing the flow.
“We want to keep things moving with less distractions,” Lashley said. “We don’t want to sidetrack anyone.”
Lashley referenced a recent hearing while talking about security.
He said that a commotion in the hallway outside the courtroom recently had disrupted the proceedings and it drew many of the officers out, leaving only one to watch a group of prisoners. Lashley then explained how that scenario could have been avoided and how to address it if happens again.
“Our goal is to keep everyone safe,” Lashley said.
Some of the other topics mentioned were how to address people in the gallery who do disruptive things during hearings; where to sit during trials that have 12-person juries; weapons retention by officers and that hats are not to be worn in the courtroom.