CLEVELAND (WJW) — Starting Wednesday, security guards assigned to four Cuyahoga County courthouses won’t be permitted to carry firearms in those buildings, according to a Tuesday sheriff’s memo obtained by the FOX 8 I-Team.
That’s because of a legal opinion recently issued by the county prosecutor’s office on a state statute against carrying firearms in courthouses. Though sheriff’s deputies are exempted under that statute, the county’s lawyers determined that protective service officers like security guards are not.
Those are the officers that screen visitors coming into county buildings and control critical entryways into those buildings and locks, among a host of other duties, according to the sheriff’s website.
The new rule will take effect at 6 a.m. Wednesday and applies to guards at the county’s Justice Center, Lakeside Courthouse, Juvenile Justice Center and Courthouse Square, according to the memo.
All of those buildings also have assigned sheriff’s deputies, who will still be permitted to carry firearms, said a spokesperson for the office of County Executive Armond Budish.
That spokesperson told the I-Team the discovery was made while officials were researching the authority of protective service officers at the county’s Jane Edna Hunter social services building.