The Tulsa County sheriff recently met with judges to talk about reassigning some deputies to make the courthouse more secure.
Some Tulsa County judges do not want deputies taken out of their courtrooms, but the Sheriff Vic Regalado said, with the budget the way it is, he has to find a way to make things work with what he’s got.
Regalado said if he had six more deputies he could make the courthouse as secure as it needs to be and leave deputies in the courtrooms, but that’s not the case.
Right now, two armed deputies are inside every criminal courtroom, but he believes there times the deputies would be better used by patrolling other areas, especially the three entrances, which, right now, don’t have armed deputies.
"If you look at cases across the country, courthouse violence, the majority of them are at the entrance," Regalado said.
He points to the 2012 shooting outside the courthouse doors as an example of why securing the entrances should be a top priority. He feels that could stop a lot of problems from ever getting to the courtrooms.
Some judges don't like the idea of not having armed deputies in the courtrooms to react quickly. They feel like having a deputy present prevents a lot of trouble.
Regalado said, "I'm not saying we'll completely say no more deputies in the courtroom."
The sheriff said it's his duty to tell the judges the courthouse is not a secure as it should be, and changes need to be made in order to protect the employees and citizens.
"Everybody likes their presence, and I would love for them to stay in the courtroom, but, what do you want, a better secure courthouse or just a secure courtroom," he said.
Regalado plans to get a written proposal to the judges by next week.
The presiding judge says they can't comment until they see that proposal but did say the safety of the courts is a priority.