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Bossier Parish Police Jury votes to move forward with separate Office of Homeland Security

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BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTBS) -

It's official - Bossier Parish will now have its own office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The Police Jury put it to vote this afternoon and it passed unanimously.

This means that Bossier Parish will now be utilizing its own Homeland Security Committee for all emergency situations.

This move has been discussed extensively over the past several months, and will be effective July 1, 2014.

Bossier Parish will still work with Caddo, as well as surrounding parishes, as part of their mutual aid agreement.

"Caddo and Bossier have always worked very well together and we don't foresee that changing whatsoever. If Caddo is in need of help, we will surely help them and vice versa."

The Police Jury's Director of Public Safety, Sammy Halphen, says this is a move in the right direction so that there will be a concentrated effort in both parishes.

"It's been in effect for a long time, going back even to the 50's Civil Defense days, and then, of course, post-911 when it changed into the Office of Homeland Security."

There are still some details to iron out in the coming months.

The committee will be working with other groups like the Bossier Parish Levee District, local emergency medical services, and fire chiefs to coordinate future efforts.

Staff positions will also have to be organized and appointed.

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