New Orleans LA Feb 27 2015
The responsibility for securing New Orleans City Hall is no longer in the hands of Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
As of Feb. 14, the armed guards are being provided by Falcon Security, which won the contract in a public bidding process.
The switch is part of a broader effort to bolster the number of deputies at Orleans Parish Prison, sheriff's spokesman Philip Stelly said.
"The Sheriff's Office is in the midst of a recruitment campaign to staff the new jail facility. In addition to new deputies, we need experienced deputies to help with our core mission," Stelly said. "So back in November, the administration announced its intention to end security services at City Hall to have more deputies available for security at other facilities and eventually at the new jail facility."
The sheriff's office had been in charge of City Hall security where six deputies were assigned since 1994
Falcon Security's one-year contract is worth $275,000 with the chance to make additional money for "unexpected special events or security needs."
"The Office of Homeland Security is responsible for security at City Hall (and) the recent changes are part of the Office's efforts to improve the overall security in order to better protect our workers and visitors," according to the mayor's office.