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Parish security work will not impede court

VIDALIA — Court cases will proceed as planned during a security system installation this week at the Concordia Parish Courthouse.

The Concordia Parish Police Jury is preparing to install a security system beginning Monday. The system should be operational by Aug. 30, Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said.

The system will consist of 40 cameras with recording capability, three video screens, panic buttons and after-hours access cards, given to authorized personnel.

The police jury plans to pay for the system with a $73,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Ferrington said the system is an important step in staying up-to-date with modern technology.

“We need to have some kind of security system for an important building like the courthouse,” he said.

Several of the cameras and a panic button will be installed in the courtroom, but courthouse employees and District Attorney Brad Burget said they are unaware of any courtroom cancellations.

“We are going to proceed as usual for our Wednesday court and trials scheduled during the week,” Burget said. “We knew about the security upgrades, but not court being cancelled. We will just play it by ear and move somewhere else, or take a break, if needed.”

Burget said courthouse employees received a memo from the clerk of court’s office, announcing the renovations would take place. The letter did not include any information about courtroom closures.

The police jury also considered installing metal detectors at entrances to the courthouse, but decided against the idea because of logistical problems.

“There are just too many entrances to install a metal detector at every one,” Ferrington said. “It may be something we look at in the future.”