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|Courthouse security upgrades on agenda|
he Concordia Parish Police Jury plans to increase efforts to provide security for the courthouse.
Juror Randy Temple brought the matter up during the Jury's regular meeting Monday night.
He said proper security is a priority.
Temple, who serves as chairman of the Finance Committee, said a Fire Marshal inspection revealed "some of the deficiencies as far as security is concerned. I brought the security issue up again because one of the banks wants to put an ATM in the courthouse and there are some concerns over security with that too."
He said the Jury plans "to work with the sheriff and all concerned to come up with a solution. We're going to fund this one way or another."
A committee was appointed last spring to develop a plan to provide security for the Concordia Parish courtroom, and the interior and exterior of the courthouse.
Serving on the Courthouse Security Committee are Jury President Melvin Ferrington, Judge Leo Boothe, Judge Kathy Johnson, Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick, Clerk of Court Clyde Ray Webber, District Attorney Brad Burget and Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Morris White.
Ferrington said a security system will likely cost about $100,000 and may require 40 cameras on the courthouse grounds, inside the halls, in the courtroom and at every entrance. Metal detectors will be required for those entering the courthouse and the courtroom, he said, while courthouse employees working after hours will need swipe cards to enter the building.
District Attorney Brad Burget told jurors a few months ago that the Supreme Court has placed time tables on state judges to provide adequate courtroom security. He said emotions sometimes run high in court cases and proper security is necessary.
"We are seeking a grant through Homeland Security," Ferrington said, "but we were told that the most we could probably get was $25,000 to $30,000. So we'll have to look for other funding sources."
Burget said Catahoula Parish received a grant from Homeland Security to provide security for its courthouse at Harrisonburg.
In other business, the Jury:
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