July 2, 2007
Reported by Rhonda Kitchens
Commander James McGee of the Calcasieu Sheriff's Office says their office has never had an inmate escape from the courthouse, but if they ever do, "we have procedures to prevent and then of course if something does happen we have procedures to respond."
Procedures, McGee says, that begin before an inmate ever leaves the Calcasieu Parish Jail.
"They're shackled, belly chains, hand cuffs and they're searched prior to being handcuffed, so that's a big step right there."
Once they arrive at the courthouse inmates are taken through a side door then placed in a secure holding area.
McGee says. "they are never in touch with the public. They are brought from that facility to each courtroom. They are never brought through the common area of the courthouse."
Once again through a back door and once again placed only in the vicinity of other inmates and courtroom security.
"All of our courtroom security people, which we have a guard staff and courtroom security," says McGee, "they're all post certified, armed deputies. If we have something like that happen our patrol division would immediately respond and also we have a highly trained swat team."
Commander McGee says the only time the cuffs come off is when an inmate is standing trial which is a very small percentage of prisoners, on any given day.
"When that happens our courtroom security is very beefed up and there are also no other inmates in that courtroom. They will be the only one in there."
And the 14th Judicial Courthouse also has a new tool that sets Calcasieu Parish apart in courtroom security. It's the same type of X-ray equipment used in airports and can identify a gun, knife, or any type of weapon being smuggled inside. Just one more weapon in the law enforcement arsenal.
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A lot of recent violent crime in the Lake area has involved teens. which leads to the question what can be done to stop the violence among our youth? A concerned citizen and statewide church group are among those working to help young people avoid trouble and find the right path. People from around the state who belong to the Louisiana Home and Foreign Missions of the Baptist State Convention Inc. are in Lake Charles this week. An event at a local church site might ...More >>
The upcoming school year is fast approaching. Here is a list of back-to-school dates:More >>
The following back-to-school dates are those that KPLC has received: Calcasieu Parish Schools First day of school for regular classes Aug. 15 First day of school for Pre-K classes Aug. 17 Cameron Parish Schools First day of school for students Aug. 15 Jeff Davis Parish Schools First day of school for 1-12 grade Aug. 11 First day of school for Pre-K and Kindergarten Aug. 15 Allen Parish Schools First day of school for students Aug. 9 Beauregard Parish ...More >>