GOHSEP mapping out Jeff Davis Parish

by Brandon Richards bio | email

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC-TV) – Emergency officials in Jeff Davis Parish gathered at the parish courthouse in Jennings for a briefing about a program that's aimed at mapping the critical infrastructure of the parish.

"Schools, we're talking about daycare facilities, venerable populations, government buildings, commercial areas, basically anything that's not residential," said Brant Mitchell, Deputy Director for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Four teams will literally walk around communities in the parish this week, snapping photos and jotting down notes about the different buildings.

The information they collect will be entered into a computer program known as Virtual Louisiana, which will provide emergency officials with more details about the layout of their communities than currently available on Google Earth, according to Mitchell.

The information could be shared by both local and state officials during an emergency.

"If something occurs to the east, west, north or south of us, we would be able to see visually what the impacts would be," said Jeff Davis Sheriff Ricky Edwards.

In fact, a wide array of tools would be available to local officials, including a program that allows them to map out the designs of local schools, all the way to the position of the student's desks.

"If there's a school shooting incident, that information will be available," said Mitchell.

Jeff Davis is one of the first parishes in the state to have its geographic data collected. GOHSEP just finished collecting data in Allen, Beauregard and Cameron Parishes.

According to Mitchell, crews will visit smaller parishes first before moving on to larger parishes like Calcasieu.

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