- Associated Press - Saturday, February 8, 2014

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Visitors to the Terrebonne Parish Courthouse will face increased screening when they enter the building as part of a tightening of security.

The Courier reported (https://bit.ly/1jgj88n) the parish plans to add metal detectors and other electronic security devices.

Parish President Michel Claudet called the project a high priority for the parish.

Metal detectors currently are used outside courtroom entrances, but parish officials want to tighten security throughout the building.

Parish Manager Al Levron said Terrebonne already has spent $25,000 on building modifications and has budgeted another $80,000 for work at the courthouse this year.

Claudet said he has met with judges, district attorney’s office staff and Sheriff Jerry Larpenter to talk about the new security measures.

The first step was moving the registrar of voters office from the Courthouse Annex to the first floor of Government Tower in Houma, he said.

That office doesn’t require additional security precautions and needed more room for its operations.

Now that the registrar has moved, the parish can phase in its overall plan for toughening security.

The Courthouse and the neighboring Courthouse Annex will get metal detectors at its entrances within the next year.

Some local residents said they think the changes are necessary.

“Because people try anything to get in here,” said 61-year-old Robert Griffin. “People bring anything in here. The more security the better.”

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Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com

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