ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Parish leaders on the North Shore released details today of a plan they say will increase security in Saint Tammany Council Chambers.
Beginning with the November St. Tammany Parish Council meeting, visitors to the government building located at 21490 Koop Drive in Mandeville will need to be aware of additional security measures that will affect monthly meetings.
"St. Tammany is a safe community, and we often take that security for granted," said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. "In the interest of Public Safety, Parish Government, in coordination with the Parish Council, has made the decision to increase its security measures. Like many other Parishes around the state we feel that it is an unfortunate necessity. We want our citizens to feel that they can come here and be civically engaged in a safe environment."
All visitors to Council Chambers will now walk into the building through only one designated set of doors, and will be required to walk through a metal detector.
Prior to the metal detector checkpoint, visitors will be required to remove personal objects such as watches, cell phones, keys, wallets, etc. for inspection by security personnel.
If the metal detector alert system is set off, security personnel will use a hand-held wand to investigate further.
Additionally, handbags, briefcases, backpacks, etc. will be required to be opened and undergo a sight search.
Any object that can be perceived as a weapon must be left outside of the building, or must be disposed of before entry is allowed.
Anyone who chooses to opt out of the security check will be refused entry into Council Chambers.
Visitors can exit the Council Chambers into the lobby or to the restroom area once inside, but if they choose to leave the building, they must pass through security upon reentry.
Anyone who plans to attend upcoming meetings at the Koop Drive complex is asked to budget a little extra time to complete a security check.