Mar 11, 2010 7:47 PM by Veronica White

Vermillion Courthouse Beefs Up Security

A break-in prompts an Acadiana courthouse to beef up security.

An intoxicated man broke into the Vermillion Parish Courthouse early Saturday morning, but no one noticed until a janitor saw the broken window the next day.

Although no one was hurt, the incident was a wake up call for courthouse employees, who realized how unsafe the building can be.

The police want it updated.

"An alarm-- it would've been activated and a police officer there within 3 minutes. (Also) better cameras, even outside showing traffic," says Detective Stan Suire of the Abbeville Police Dept.

The courthouse currently has security guards during the daytime and security cameras 24 hours a day, but at the courthouse committee meeting Wednesday they decided to take more action. The goal is to have quicker response time.

"We added a $2500 electronic enhancement to enhance the surveillance system that we have, and sort of a silent alarm system," says Chris Theriot from the Vermillion Parish Police Jury.

A big concern is for the 911 operators, who work around the clock.

The women working friday night didn't realize the danger they could have been in if they went dowwnstairs.

"If they were to leave or if it was during the time they were switching shifts or anything," says Edna Taylor, who previously worked the night shift.

The man who broke into the building-- Christopher Taylor-- was arrested yesterday for unauthorized entry.



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