I-Team: County Approves Hiring Marshals For Courthouse

By Colleen McCarty , Kyle Zuelke

Published 09/18 2012 05:25PM

Updated 09/19 2012 12:52PM

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LAS VEGAS -- Clark County Commissioners approved the Regional Justice Court's plan Tuesday to hire more marshals to move visitors to the courthouse through the long security lines quickly.

A security checkpoint at the courthouse requires visitors to stand in line – sometimes for more than an hour – before entering the building.

Chief Judge Jennifer Togliatti appeared before the commission requesting more help funneling people through the security checkpoint.

"I'm ready to make that line better for your constituents," Togliatti told commissioners.

The court requested the county authorize eight additional marshals.

Two would be paid for with a grant from the Supreme Court, three would be created by converting existing part-time positions to full-time jobs and another three would be added by reclassifying three clerical slots.

The additional cost is less than $30,000, a small price Togliatti argued, to improve safety and efficiency.

The goal is to have all three security scanners, particularly during periods of high traffic, staffed and ready to expedite people through the checkpoint and into the courthouse.

A redesign of the front entrance is also in the works to reconfigure the scanners one next to the other.

But one idea from Commissioner Steve Sisolak received a full hearing but not much support.

"It's not justice for everybody when people are treated differently," he said.

Sisolak questioned Togliatti repeatedly on his pet peeve: a separate line for attorneys.

Sisolak said he stood in the line for over an hour as attorneys consistently cut in front of the line. He described it as a volatile situation in the lobby area as people became extremely upset.

"I cant' tell you I'm going to change it until we fill those positions and make progress on our three lines," Togliatti said.

With that, the commission approved the staffing changes, with Sisolak as the only ‘No' vote.

But another critic waited outside the commission chambers: The attorney who represents the marshals.

"We know the judges are working very hard to fill and meet the staffing needs, but ultimately the commission is going to have to approve more marshals to keep that building safe and pay marshals what marshals deserve to be paid," attorney Adam Levine said.

It's unclear exactly when the lines at the courthouse will move more quickly at the courthouse.

Togliatti told the I-Team the court is working to hire the eight positions now and will continue to evaluate the situation once they're in place.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.