County’s bailiffs honored for service

Employees of multiple offices at the Barry County Judicial Center gathered Friday to recognize the men who serve as the face of the building and the protection in the courtroom.

The Center’s three bailiffs — Dave Ruark, Michael Morris and Mike Bailey — were treated to a surprise luncheon honoring their service at the facility.

Ruark, Morris and Bailey were also presented with plaques and cards signed by Judicial Center staff.

Circuit Clerk Craig Williams and his staff, along with Associate Circuit Judges Robert Foulke and Johnnie Cox, Prosecuting Attorney Amy Boxx and her staff, and Public Administrator Sam Madsen and his staff, decided that a ceremony recognizing the bailiff staff was long overdue.

“The officeholders noted that the Judicial Center could not function without the dedicated service of the bailiffs,” a circuit clerk’s office press release said. “Deputy Dave Ruark, Deputy Michael Morris and bailiff Mike Bailey provide an invaluable service to the staff and citizens of Barry County. Everyone should feel secure when they enter a courthouse and should believe that they are protected and respected. These men provide that security and protection every day in a courteous and respectful manner.

“The courts must also be able to function with a belief that hard decisions, difficult questions, emotional situa- tions and disappointing results can happen without the concern of violence breaking out. Again, these men provide that belief in a safe and secure environment. We again want to thank them for their contribution to the justice system.”

The plaques presented to Ruark, Morris and Bailey read, “Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the Barry County Judicial Center.”

Williams and Cox lauded the group’s efforts, saying they frequently stay late, make accommodations for special situations, have rearranged the courthouse entrance for better security, act as a presence of safety for staff throughout the day and treat all who walk through the courthouse doors with courtesy and respect.