City, county prepare for Zimmerman trial
by Rachel Delinski, Herald Editor
June 04 2013 at 2057 | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the trial for George Zimmerman nears, city and county officials are busy preparing to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

Earlier this week Sanford city officials sent out a press release stating Sanford is “open for business” and will be operating as usual during the trial.

Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith said, “The City of Sanford will be open, we want people to continue to live their lives as normal and we ask that if you see something or hear something please notify the Sanford Police for non-emergency at 407-688-5199, if it’s an emergency please call 911.”

The City’s website, will be a source for information, public records requests and links regarding details of the trial that may affect the lifestyles and livelihoods of Sanford’s citizens and visitors, i.e. traffic, altered hours of operation, etc.

The trial is estimated to last four to six weeks, and will take place at the Seminole County Criminal Courthouse located at the Five Points complex on 17-92 at Bush Blvd., adjacent to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

The Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, for Seminole County has established three Designated Areas for Public assembly (free speech zones) to accommodate those who want to gather at the trial site, and also at the Civil Courthouse across the street from Sanford City Hall. The sites are located at:

• Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, 101 Bush Blvd., Sanford

• Seminole County Juvenile Justice Center, 190 Bush Blvd., Sanford

• Seminole County Civil Courthouse, 301 North Park Ave., (East side of the Bldg. at Hood Ave. & E. Seminole Blvd.) Sanford

In partnership with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies you may notice an increase of law enforcement throughout the City of Sanford and Seminole County.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office has also launched a website for the public at The site contains information on parking, accessing the courthouse, assembly zones, security considerations, and items prohibited inside the courthouse and on courthouse grounds.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said, “While SCSO does not discuss security details, the agency has worked over the last year to ensure adequate staffing and resources are in place, and will be supported by law enforcement from multiple local, state and federal agencies.”

These agencies will assist with personnel and equipment. Throughout the trial, SCSO will be coordinating resources from the county’s Emergency Operations Center to ensure that traffic, security and parking are managed efficiently, they said.

If you are looking to get one of the 24 courtroom seats reserved for the public you will have to enter a lottery. The lottery will be held at the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office at 1500 E. Airport Blvd. in Sanford between 2 and 4 p.m. the day before each trial day.

At the office you will need to fill out a card with your information. If your card is chosen you will receive a call that evening.