A Louisiana state judge has publicly stated that she and her colleagues “do not feel secure” in the New Orleans criminal courthouse, citing a dwindling police presence and lax security measures at courthouse entrances.
Previously, at least three unarmed deputies usually were in place to supervise significant numbers of inmates, keep order over audiences and issue subpoenas upon judges’ orders. Recently there have been only two per courtroom, or on rare occasions one.
Officers of the court — such as attorneys and clerk staff — also generally are waved through metal detectors at the court’s two public entrances without being subjected to a search of their person or belongings. [Judge] Flemings-Davillier said that, too, needs to change.
“We are asking the sheriff’s office to reinforce the rules that we already have,” she said, “because they have been lax and we have had some security issues.”
The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office has stated that it is unaware of any specific threats or incidents that should make courthouse personnel uneasy.