March 01, 2015

Despite Sheriff’s Orders, Law Enforcement Officers Legally Able To Carry Firearms Inside Courthouse

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Despite policies enforced by Sheriff George David, all law enforcement personnel are legally able to carry firearms inside of the county courthouse while on official business, even if they are not in uniform and are carrying their weapons concealed, the Beaver Countian can now report.

Standing orders given to deputies by Sheriff George David to disarm officers not in uniform are in contradiction with a binding resolution previously passed by the Beaver County Board of Commissioners.

It has been the standard practice of deputies under David’s tenure to require plain-clothes officers to surrender their firearms at the doors of the courthouse, having their weapons locked in one of the gun boxes located in the front of each public entrance. But Beaver County Resolution 111298-24, adopted by the Board of Commissioners on November 12, 1998, explicitly allows all officers to carry their firearms into the courthouse.

The resolution states that weapons may be carried by any officer who complies with the following conditions: “While carrying a firearm at the court facility, such firearm must be in a secure holster unless being used otherwise in the lawful performance of official duties” – and – “The individual carrying the weapon must be at the court facility for the purpose of performing an official duty and not for personal or unofficial business.”

The resolution goes on to explicitly state that provisions allowing officers to carry firearms into the building “apply with equal force to plain-clothes officers.”

Beaver County Solicitor Joseph Askar confirmed to the Beaver Countian that resolution 111298-24 remains binding law in Beaver County. Solicitor Askar also noted that the county resolution is in step with 18 Pa.C.S. § 913, the state law which regulates the carrying of firearms into courthouses.

Provisions under state law also allow “court officials” to carry their firearms inside of the courthouse under similar conditions.

The resolution passed by Commissioners supersedes any policy established by the Sheriff, meaning officers are legally allowed to walk into the courthouse armed for their own protection and the protection of the public, whether or not they are in uniform.

Controversy surrounding the disarmament policy first came to a head during a bond revocation hearing held for Sheriff George David in April. Pennsylvania State Police Corporals Joseph Olayer and Daniel Mosura, who were the arresting officers in the case against David, arrived to the courthouse dressed in suits for the hearing. Both men were carrying concealed weapons and both men declined to relinquish their weapons when they went through security checkpoints manned by deputies.

There was a possibility at the time that Senior Judge Francis Fornelli may have had David jailed for ratcheting a shotgun in the basement of the courthouse in violation of his bond, and the State Police had concerns about how he, or some of his inner circle of deputies, may react. Those security concerns were made readily apparent by the Pennsylvania State Police, who had over a dozen Troopers present at the courthouse for the hearing.

The Beaver Countian learned of a discussion that purportedly took place between several deputies about whether they could arrest Corporals Olayer and Mosura for entering the courthouse armed while not in uniform. Ultimately those deputies decided against a confrontation with Pennsylvania State Police.

Following an incident last week involving a firearm at the courthouse, with District Attorney Tony Berosh telling the Beaver Countian that a firearm belonging to one of his employees went missing from a gun locker for a period of time, other law enforcement officers once again began expressing concerns about being disarmed at the facility.

Our law enforcement community’s right to carry is clearly protected by county resolution regardless of what they may be wearing.

About The Author

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John Paul is a Beaver County native and the founder of BeaverCountian.com He reports full-time for the Beaver Countian, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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42 Comments

  1. Tyler Fleming

    Italians have big egos, they’ll arrest their own in a heartbeat if they think it would get them brownie points with the boss. All those courthouse cops look Italian, i’m worried they’ll shoot me on the spot every time I go in there to do my JOB

     
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  2. Robert Brenner

    Its the sheriffs department to provide security in the courthouse. Believe there are jurisdiction concerns. State police don’t like anyone steeping on their toes so they should respect Sheriff David. And the county commissioners did no thinking about the “law” they passed! Probably a carbon copy of the state law, but they had 20 luncheons that the tax payers paid for! In a nut shell all law enforcement say they are brothers in blue but they all bicker between themselves, and they are all Crooked as the day is long. And dude that writes these post go get laid, your man crush on Sheriff David unbelievable!!!!!!

     
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  3. SpeakTheTruthToo

    It makes absolutely no sense why a law enforcement officer on duty or official business at the courthouse would have to give up their gun when entering. Like what you’re wearing for a hearing matters.

     
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  4. WilliamsQUIPS

    Tyler is probably a homosexual and afraid of Catholic PRIDE. I dare you to show your face Tyler. OUR county is PROUD of who we are and you are not welcome. GO TO CHINA

     
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  5. jay

    I swear I have seen Tyler in Aliquippa before,there are many italians in this county boy,watch your back.

     
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  6. James F. DiBenedetto

    It is not about a law enforcement officer’s right to be armed in the courthouse, nor is about a law enforcement officers competence to carry a firearm. It is about necessity. Do they need to be armed for their respective business at the courthouse? If so, they should be armed. If not, for a matter of safety, they should not be. On several occasions in the past I’ve seen officers on and off duty in court and in chambers conducting business in close proximity to people who were charged with crimes. That mixture in itself creates a dangerous situation, and maybe one armed law enforcement oifficer in the room is sufficient.

     
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    1. Thick Purple Circle

      Judge I would say the when an officer goes to court to prosecute someone they have arrested they should have them means to protect themselves while in the building with them and it looks like the law agrees with that. It makes sense. Officers shouldn’t have to rely on others for their protection especially with the clown show our current Sheriff is putting on!

       
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    2. SpeakTheTruthToo

      I’m disappointed in your response DiBenedetto. You are a judge who doesn’t feel the law should be followed. Nice. I’ll answer your question. Do they need to be armed for their respective business at the courthouse? Yes, it is a matter of their safety, and one day it may be a matter of your safety. They need to be armed more than anyone in PA carrying a concealed carry permit. Beaver County is the only backwards place I know of where a law enforcement officer on official duty at the courthouse has to take his gun off to enter. Unbelievable. This is a power play between real Act 120 certified law enforcement officers vs. the bozo in the Sheriff’s Office.

       
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  7. James F. DiBenedetto

    In the seventies when we officers were required to appear in court in either, our uniform or a suit. If we were armed we went directly to the District Attorney’s office and locked our gear in a closet. No one complained[ except the secretary who had to keep getting up to open the closet. But, she complained about everything, so no one paid any attention to her.

     
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  8. buzzkill

    Why is it that the Second Amendment right of ordinary citizens to keep and bear arms somehow stops at the courthouse door ? The Constitution does not say that anywhere. In fact, it says that you are to receive due process before you can be denied that right or any right. Law enforcement officers should not hold the exclusive right to carry firearms anywhere. Especially in Beaver County. Just look at the antics of police who have been charged with crimes here. Those are just the ones who happened to get caught . Think about how many times police get away with crimes. I don’t trust them with my safety. People like to point to Sheriff David as a poor example of law enforcement , but there are far worse examples. Look no further than the disgrace of a department that is Ambridge. Three police officers in Ambridge in the last 5 years have either been convicted of or are currently charged with serious felonies that caused the lives of ordinary citizens to be put in mortal jeopardy.

     
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    1. Profile photo of Nikki
      Nikki

      Ambridge is one of the WORST of the worst, and the biggest mistake they made was putting that fat fuck Mann in as the chief. Fuck him.

       
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  9. Lubby

    Judge, I respectively disagree with your comment on how an armed officer in close proximity to a prisoner is a danger. Although it is a danger to a degree, it’s much less of a risk than the one on one confrontation officers have with these same people on the streets where disarming an officer is more of a probability. And in the event that a cuffed, shackled prisoner should even make the attempt in a courtroom there’s 20+ officers in the immediate area (armed) to neutralize the threat. In addition, consider some of the deputies that are posted in courtrooms. Just observe their relaxed behavior as well as the fact that some of them (recent new, political hires) have zero experience and minimal training. You referenced what the process was in the 70’s but I’m well aware that that practice didn’t occur in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. This isn’t you, Georgie or the commissioners. Admit it’s, it’s the president judge.

     
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  10. James F. DiBenedetto

    LUBBY: I respect your opinion. I simply have a different take on the issue. I don’t think there is a wrong or right viewpoint on this issue. Maybe a joint discussion among the people involved or affected by the policy would be beneficial.

     
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    1. avi

      Why are you on the internet commenting on stories during courthouse hours? Are we paying you to read this site? Maybe you should be using your time more wisely, For FUCKS Sake!

       
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  11. 76wita95

    Jimmy D your wise one that knows a thing or two and considering your history with sheriff you should truly know that a meeting with him going over policies and agree to disagree discussions would be impossible one he isn’t capable of comprehending. TWO whatever arrangement made he would find fault later. You should know he spent twenty years bad mouthing you from days at aliquippa railroad to any other law enforcement position, but I understand somehow he tricked you into entertaining his thoughts and meeting with him on regular basis, perplexed.

     
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  12. Lubby

    Judge , I agree as well and I don’t think either of us are wrong or right. A tabletop discussion would be prudent and beneficial. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to my knowledge any attempts at having one have been shot down from the top almost immediately. As a former LEO, I’m sure you know that surrendering a weapon is a hard thing to do. The mentality is to act if something bad occurs. This standing rule pretty much has off duty cops running for cover and not being able to act should an active shooter arise in the courthouse. Not many cops would want to tell the story for the years that follow that they had to run for their lives instead of act.

     
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    1. James F. DiBenedetto

      Lubby: Why not get the FOP Lodges and the Chiefs of Police Assoc.. involved in the discussion.

       
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  13. Santa Muerte

    I have seen that Tyler punk at Monaca Wal-Mart. Remember who I am. Every person has their day and your day will be coming. Keep looking over that shoulder and your gay blonde hair

     
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  14. Profile photo of joepa
    joepa

    Dibenedetto is only commenting so he can get his name out more. Word is George David is getting him to run for Commissioner in the next election.

     
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  15. momychula21

    It very alarming to read this, when myself and several others seen a deputy in plain clothes with his uniform jacket riding around all week/weekend showing off his gun on a bike. Guess he thinks he is cool.

     
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  16. quipgirl 77

    Touchy touchy touchy all in and around the beaver county courthouse the state police MUST at ALL TIMES show that they have The Biggest Dick no matter what or where the situation be, Sheriff David must prove time and time again that his Dick reigns SUPREME in beaver county, John Paul is feeling slighted because he STEPPED ON his Dick and now ole Georgie is sitting at his desk Laughing at these articles because since the Not Guilty verdict was heard from south heights to wampum The Beavercountian has trully become the Gnat to Davids lion for as (untrue as it may be) everything from here on out just looks like Sour grapes,,, Now out ta the Clear Blue Sky comes Judge D !!!! , I’m wondering why now all of a sudden is he willing to “Pull his out” for the measuring contest , only TIME will TELL .,but then again it only takes 5 minutes to get a free email address and then to subscribe to The Good ole Countian ,Hell I could of posted this as Tom Ridge or Bill Clinton ( we’ve all seen the photos of Wild Bill & Big Dick David all buddy buddy shaking hands) that’s surely more interesting than anything a girl who graduated from quip in 1977 has to say :)

     
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  17. liljoemama

    The judge is right and as for the local yokels in blue most of them are bereft in morals and ethics not all mind you but there are way too many who have been accused let alone found guilty.As for the troopers, yes they must be smart to get hired but they are not much better in the morals or ethics department in my opinion

     
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  18. vendetta

    I cannot stand the fact a judge who is supposed to up hold the law is allowing Georgie David to blind him. Hey Judge Georgie is done his flook of a so called win was a screw up plain and simple>> And KAREN Take Georgies dick out of your mouth so they can measure it… BTW HEY Georgie lets see ya dodge the next round you and that midget puppet of yours. Someone Who robbed a fellow brother his morals are shit. We have heard the rumors of him borrowing large amounts of money off people.. Goodluck on the next round BOYs>>>> Enoy

     
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