New Cell Phone Policy Begins at Erie County Courthouse - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

New Cell Phone Policy Begins at Erie County Courthouse

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At the Erie County Courthouse, a new cell phone policy is being met with mixed reaction.

“I like access to my phone,” said Dorian Step.  “I didn't really like being in there without it the whole time, but it is what it is."

"It's a good idea for trial cases,” said Melody Buzzanco.  “But for me just coming into the courthouse, doing my business, no.

Under the new policy, you must turn off your cell phone at the main entrance of the courthouse and place it into a locked security pouch.

"I think it's an even level of complaints and understanding,” said Erie County Sheriff John Loomis.  “A lot of folks, all they hear is that we are taking their cell phones.  All we are doing is securing it and giving it back to them."

You can then carry you phone around the courthouse and have it unlocked once you go to leave.

Cell phone usage is already prohibited during court proceedings, but according to Sheriff Loomis, they've seen a significant increase in violations.

"That's where most of the problem is, photographing inmates walking down the hall,” said Sheriff Loomis.  “I mean, it's our job to keep their rights secure also."

When it comes to the change in policy, Sheriff Loomis says it will take some adjustment.

"I thank everyone for their cooperation and bear with us,” said Sheriff Loomis.  “Nobody likes change, but it's for everybody's well-being."

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