Two deputies feel effects of Courtroom heat, one taken to doctor

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Courthouse was able to reopen this week after it was closed all of last week due to an electrical fire. The Courthouse remains on generators, and cannot run air conditioning at full power. Some at the Courthouse on Wednesday, July 17th felt the effects of the heat and humidity.

"The temperature just kept rising and rising and you could just kinda feel it. Worst I've ever experienced down here as far as the heat and the air going out, yeah," Defense Attorney Jessica Bellows said.

Fans and water stations have been placed outside courtrooms.

Unlike many in court, Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputies cannot dress down in response to the heat. They wear a full uniform, and carry the extra weight of bulletproof vests.

"I would assume that they are very hot. They really don't have much other than their standard uniform that they can wear," Bellows said.

One deputy was taken to a doctor Wednesday after feeling faint. A second reported feeling overheated, but was able to return to work.

FOX6 News received complaints that deputies were not getting enough breaks from court, or enough water.

The head of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Association says:

"The Sheriff's Office, the court and our association realized that there was a problem today, and we're working to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Until this heat wave passes, the Sheriff's Association says deputies will be rotated more often, and given more opportunities to cool down.

However, deputies aren't the only ones enduring the elements.

One judge thanked a jury after a particularly trying week.

"We really, really appreciate your service more so than usual. At times it was hard to probably concentrate because it was hot, but you all concentrated. You all listened," Hon. Rebecca Dallet said.

Milwaukee County Chief Judge Jeffery Kremers says some of the hottest courtrooms adjourned early Wednesday. He says that has happened before on hot summer days.

Kremers said because of the air conditioning issues, this is the hottest it has been inside the Courthouse.