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Lafayette City Marshal concerned about city courthouse security

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 18:31:34-04

Lafayette City Marshal Michael Hill says the city courthouse needs security upgrades.

He’s concerned and calls the facility a “soft target.”

On average, nearly 5,000 people a month go to the Lafayette City Courthouse.

Hill said, “Security for a building like this is an ongoing process and it needs to be revisited each year.”

In 2018, Hill says his deputies stopped more than 280 weapons from entering the building.

“Now these are not all guns,” said Hill. “Some of these are knives, some things that might not be generally thought of as weapons, but can be used as weapons.”

Hill is concerned with the courthouse’s design.

The building has lots of windows for people on the outside to see inside movement. He’s also worried about bolder moves.

“We need to have blockage to keep someone from just driving through the front door,” Hill said.

Lafayette resident Joann Broussard said, “The guys are great. They do their jobs and I never feel like I wouldn’t be safe. They take good precautions.”

Hill understands hardening the courthouse will take money that his department and Lafayette Consolidated Government do not have. He said some changes have already been made, but he cannot comment on specifics.

“We can’t rely on it never being targeted,” Hill said. “We have to prepare for the worst and that has to start now.”

This July, the Lafayette City-Parish Council will begin budget hearings. The Marshal’s budget will come up for discussion in August.