Jeffco courts will be open for business on Thursday

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County courts will be open for business Thursday. Sheriff Mike Hale is pulling deputies from security duty because of his budget cut. Tuesday, Jefferson County Presiding court Judge Scott Vowell met with criminal court judges in Birmingham to discuss security steps."I think the courts are going to be safe. We are going to have the same people we always had," Vowell said.

Vowell told the judges they will have to share their bailiffs. Four unassigned bailiffs will have to take up patrols of the courts after the deputies leave."We've asked the judges when they need extra help call the court administrator and she will send of one of the four unassigned bailiffs to their aid," Vowell said.

Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins says the county has less money for security. Collins says bailiffs should make security their top priority and not clerical work."The courts are going to have to help with those and be sure the bailiffs we help pay for rare addressing matters of security in the courtroom," Collins said.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Tommy Nail disagrees."They have always done paper work. That is part of their function here. We handle a tremendous amount of paper work with all of these cases," Nail said.

The judges say security will be adequate but additional funding would make it better."It's always a balancing performance of keeping the courts safe with the resources we have," Vowell said.