GOSHEN – The Appellate Division Second Department of State Supreme Court has approved the process in Orange County where corrections officers participated in emergency services SWAT/Sheriff’s Special Operations Group operation.
The original case was challenged because members of the Sheriff’s SOG and corrections officers, who were not police officers, but highly trained in special tactics, helped execute a search warrant in a felony drug possession case in Middletown.
The procedure was challenged since corrections officers are not police officers and noted in search warrant law.
The appellate term found the corrections participating in emergency services teams is permissible if they only participate in securing the residence for safety purposes so that police officers may eventually do the search safely.
The 12-year-prison sentence of Jmin Ward was upheld.
“The decision put to bed a longstanding controversial issue whereby the court used a reasonable nonsense standard that advises specially trained corrections officers can be used to ensure the safety of police officers during high-risk drug search warrant executions,” said District Attorney David Hoovler.
“The decision only reinforces the premise that when executing high-risk warrants, even the court agreed using highly training individuals is permissible to protect police officers, civilians and defendants,” said Sheriff Carl DuBois.