Lights, camera, educate!
Representatives of Cooperative Video Services, pictured far left and far right, take a moment for a snapshot with Rusk Municipal Court staff clerk Angela Rios, Judge Forrest Phifer and bailiff Sergeant Earl Dominy during the making of a training video featuring Rusk Municipal Court.
The Rusk Municipal Court’s Judge Forrest Phifer and staff got to show ’em how it’s done last week, when the local court was featured for an educational training video the production company Cooperative Video Services is making for the Texas Municipal Court Education Center (TMCEC).
Bert Long and his assistants were on hand Thursday, Oct. 4, to film footage for the educational movie, titled ‘The Role of Municipal Courts in City Government,’
“Basically, this is a training video for all newly appointed or elected judges, so they can get an overall idea of what their duties are and what’s expected of them and their staffs,” Long said. “This is pretty much a remake of what we did 18 or so years ago. We’re always updating our material, to keep it fresh.”
The film crew was treated to a mock trial with Judge Phifer, Prosecuting Attorney Anthony King, Court Clerk Angela Rios and Bailiff Sgt. Earl Dominy at the municipal court at Rusk City Hall. The filmmakers also visited the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office for footage of court proceedings at the jail.
“I was happy to participate today, to help further the education of those who represent our courts and government in the great state of Texas,” City Attorney Anthony King said after filming wrapped on the prosecution’s portion of the ‘trial.’
According to the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center’s website, tmcec.com, the Center’s mission is “to provide high quality judicial education, technical assistance, and the necessary resource material to assist municipal judges, court support personnel, and prosecutors in obtaining and maintaining professional competence -- to facilitate compliance by municipal judges with the Court of Criminal Appeals’ order mandating continuing education on an annual basis.”
All court administrators are required to train to become certified, renew certifications and participate in continuing training and education programs to help keep them abreast of the state’s ever-changing laws and technology.
“We were pleased to be a part of it,” Judge Phifer said. “I’m particularly happy that the municipal court of Rusk was able to participate in this project. I think it shows the importance placed on small towns and the constant efforts they make in striving to uphold the law.”
The TMCEC has provided continuing professional education and training programs for municipal judges and court personnel, since 1984, and is financed by a grant from the Court of Criminal Appeals out of funds appropriated by the Legislature to the Judicial and Court Personnel Training Fund.
“In 2006, TMCEC was incorporated as 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation exclusively for charitable, literary, and educational purposes of providing: (1) judicial education, technical assistance, and the necessary resource material to assist municipal judges, court support personnel, and city attorneys in obtaining and maintaining professional competence in the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice; and (2) information to the public about the Texas judicial system and laws relating to public safety and quality of life in Texas communities,” the Center’s website states.
TMCEC offers continuing education courses in various locations throughout the state for judges, clerks, court administrators, bailiffs, warrant officers, juvenile case managers, prosecutors and court clerks.
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