Botterbush in charge of security in Madison County Courthouse 'melting pot'

Christina Stueve Oct. 4, 2011, 5:44am


Every day is different for Sgt. Raymond Botterbush, security supervisor at the Madison County Courthouse.

Normally about 400 to 500 people come through the courthouse in a day, but it's not uncommon for 1,200 to 1,500 to pass through, he said.

Botterbush describes the courthouse as "the true melting pot of society."

"I never know from one day to the next what is going to happen. People might be joyful and happy over an adoption or wedding or upset over a divorce, or they might be convicted of a crime and be sent to the penitentiary."

People also come in for traffic tickets and lawsuits. Some come in to resolve conflicts with cities over business issues.

"When people walk in, we look for anything they might possess that might be a danger to the environment," he said. "People innocently bring in pocket knives or scissors, and it could be inadvertently used against someone."

Botterbush started working in Madison County's patrol division in 1974. He also worked in the jail and as a detective until he started working courthouse security in 1999.

"Any job in law enforcement is what you make of it," he said. "Detectives investigate crimes, and we can do our own investigations."

Botterbush knew since he was young that he wanted to work in law enforcement. His brother is a retired detective sergeant with the Alton Police Department.

He has also been a Boy Scout for 51 years. "I guess I stick with stuff," he said.

At eight years old, he started as a Cub Scout. The Boy Scouts build character for boys, he said. Becoming an Eagle Scout was more difficult than earning his bachelor's degree, he said.

He explains that the Scouts teach a boy to achieve a goal. One of the early requirements in early Scout history was to stop a runaway horse, but the Scouts have changed with the times. They teach camping, citizenship skills, first aid, physics and space exploration.

Botterbush also knows how to "live off the land."

The Scouts teach how to identify edible plants, and they teach hunting.

Botterbush also is a hunter safety instructor, which provides training for someone to get a hunting license.

He has also served as a Republican precinct committeeman for 11 years and has been on the board of the planning and zoning commission for the village of Godfrey.

"I like to consider myself a self-thinker," he said.

Faith: Christian
Hometown: Godfrey
Education: Bachelor's degree in administration of justice from McKendree College; graduate of Police Training Institute in at University of Urbana Champaign.
Occupation: Director of Courthouse Security
Marital Status: Single
Age: 59

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Alton Police Department
1700 E Broadway
Alton, IL 62002

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