By Judge Zack Dolyk
The Vermilion Municipal Court and the Vermilion Police Department have acquired a transport van. We want to thank the Erie County Commissioners, William Monaghan, Mathew Old, Patrick Shenigo as well as Sheriff Paul Sigsworth.
Chief Christopher Hartung had attended a meeting of area police chiefs and learned the Erie County Sheriff Department would be removing a 2007 Ford Econoline van from its fleet. Our Court and the Vermilion Police Department have been discussing the possibility of purchasing a transport vehicle.
Unfortunately, the need to transport prisoners and defendants to and from court and treatment facilities has increased. The Court was looking locally to purchase a van and convert it into a transport vehicle. Due to the increased number of prisoners being transported a police car was no longer adequate for our needs. The Vermilion Municipal Court will not use any City of Vermilion general fund monies on this van. The Vermilion Municipal Court has a number of special project funds, which are funded by court costs and used for various court needs. These funds can only be used by order of the presiding Judge. A portion of court costs is dedicated to the purchase and upkeep of a court vehicle. The Court has used an obsolete Vermilion Police Department vehicle, for bailiff service and probation needs. This van will help the Police department reduce the miles put on its police cars.
The Erie County Commissioners prepared a resolution to declare the 2007 Ford can obsolete and authorizing it to be donated to the Vermilion Police Department.
The Vermilion Municipal Court has titled this van, installed a radio and will have the appropriate lettering put on it identifying it as a court vehicle. The Vermilion Police Department will handle the Court transports and all maintenance of this vehicle.
The City of Vermilion is in two counties, Erie and Lorain. Depending on where the crime was committed the prisoners are taken to the appropriate county jail. Therefore, we need to transport prisoner to both the Erie County Jail and Lorain County Jail. Some years ago, the Vermilion Municipal Court and Erie County Sheriff Department began using a video arraignment system. This allows the Court to handle the initial arraignment via video for Erie County prisoners. This saves time, transportation and labor costs. However, if the person remains in jail any hearing after the arraignment requires they be transported as it is their constitutional right to be present for hearings.
Once again, we appreciate the interagency cooperation of the Erie County Sheriff and the Erie County Commissioners in providing the Court with the transport van which benefits our residents.