If you have been at the Red River Parish Courthouse recently you have signs on side entrance doors directing people to the main entrance. And at the main entrance there are new signs listing requirements for entering the court room on the second floor. You have also seen the security screening station that is set up just inside the entrance.
The Police Jury received an update on measures underway to secure the courthouse from Sheriff Glen Edwards at the August police jury meeting. Edwards reported, “ I have been working with Police Jury Manager Jessie Davis to get all personnel at the courthouse proper identification cards.”
Edwards said, “We are taking pass cards that all have and converting them to ID cards. All staffers will wear them all the time they are in the building. This will show that the staffers work in the building.”
The Sheriff added, “We have set up the security machine and we are using it on court days. We are working to get Sheriff’s Department staffing where it needs to be to begin using this everyday.”
There is a package scanner at the front door of the courthouse. Shawn Hubbard, the head of the parish office of emergency preparedness said, “We are looking into getting additional equipment for scanning packages coming into the courthouse to see if there is anything dangerous coming through.”
Police Jury President Shawn Beard asked if people who regularly stop at the courthouse, such as package delivery persons, be given ID cards. Sheriff Edwards replied, “I don’t know if we want to start issuing cards for non-employees.” He added it could raise some security concerns.
Sheriff Edwards summed it up this way: “We will have to grow into whatever the police jury wants us to have for the safety of the courthouse.