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Judge Chuck West visits VP Rotary Club

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MAY 12, MEETING - Judge Chuck West, right, was the guest speaker for the May 12, meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. He is shown with Rotary President David Mayeux, left, and Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc, center.

May 12, Meeting
Thirteenth Judicial District Court Division B Judge Chuck West visited the Ville Platte Rotary Club during the group’s May 12, meeting as the guest of Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc. West gave an update on the office, noting he hopes to continue improving communication between the court and the public. To help facilitate this, he established a website that those selected for jury duty can check to find out if the session is cancelled. He said this site will greatly help the clerk of court’s office, who answer all the phone calls asking about jury duty and if their date has been cancelled. West also said he wants to improve communication between the police departments and sheriff’s office concerning the issuance of arrest warrants. He noted that warrants had to be physically driven to the court house to be signed by a judge, utilizing valuable time officers could be out patrolling the streets. He found an online warrant system, and after discussions with the sheriff and parish police chiefs, will begin using the online warrant generation system. This will allow officers to upload warrants to the system and notify the judge, who will then electronically sign the warrant. The officer can then simply print out the warrant, saving valuable time. This system also will allow the judge to sign the warrant from the convenience of his home if necessary. West said this system will help speed up the process and allow for better time management. He expects the new system to be in place by the end of next month.
West then discussed the issue of security at the courthouse. He said he was not worried about judges’ safety, he was more concerned with the safety of victims being in the same room as the offender, as well as the safety of the courthouse employees. He said downstairs security is necessary to protect the courtrooms upstairs. He stated that currently, security is only on the grounds on criminal court days. He added, however, that security should be present every day. He said this issue needs to be addressed as quickly as possible so that the public feels safe in the courthouse.
West closed by noting that everything is up to date and things are moving quickly with no major problems in the office.

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