OKLAHOMA CITY -- You've probably seen the Oklahoma City city marshals around the municipal courthouse.
"Their duties are security at the courthouse. They do serve warrants,” M.T. Berry, an assistant city manager, said.
However, a state statute prohibits city marshals from making warrant-less arrests and issuing traffic and criminal citations because they’re not defined as peace officers.
"If there was a disturbance that broke out in the courthouse, they would have to call the police department to come respond to it,” Berry said.
Berry said there have been questions about whether they can continue to carry a weapon.
"What it would take in order to resolve that, it just seemed it was the best interest of the city, we believe, that we have police officers do that job,” Berry said.
So, city officials notified the marshals of their decision to shut down the department.
Starting on July 1, the marshals who work at the courthouse will be disbanded.
One of the marshals, who wanted to remain anonymous, sent NewsChannel 4 a statement saying, “I am personally struggling with this. This is ending my law enforcement career and putting massive amounts of stress on my family. Some of my other guys have young children and are struggling even more then (sic) I am because we have two months to find jobs.”
"I hate it for them, but again we've got to make sure we have a safe environment over there for our court customers,” Berry said.
There are currently nine city marshals.
They are being encouraged to apply for positions with the Oklahoma City Police Department.