State Police Bolster Courthouse Security

State police cruisers were parked outside four criminal court buildings Monday, after gang-related violence at the courthouse in Bridgeport last Thursday.

The Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Waterbury courthouses all had troopers on hand. But the extra security has raised questions from some about the need for those extra bodies.

This coming Thursday, the Judicial Branch is laying off 123 judicial marshals, cadets, and security officers, and their IBPO local union leader wonders why.

"We understand that the Branch is in tough times and they need to cut their budget. But I think cutting the frontline security is a bad choice," said Joe Gaetano.

According to the Judicial Branch, the state police are not coming in to make up for lost marshals.

In a statement, Judicial Branch spokeswoman Melissa Farley said, "No, It is not related. In the 90’s there was gang activity at a courthouse and the same security measures were put in place for a period of time."

But Gaetano said the laid off marshals are at the low end of the pay scale. Farley said state troopers who cover the courthouses are being paid $60-75 an hour.

"I think it's a waste in resources. These people are being paid overtime and we're having 101 marshals being laid off as of Thursday," he said.

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