Sheriff: Permitted event goes smoothly

By Paige Nash

The Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office (WPSO) in conjunction with the Minden Police Department worked security and traffic control at an event, FreakNik Finale, where more than 40 guns were secured from entering the event on Allen Drive in Minden. The FreakNik provided live entertainment featuring a DJ, mechanical bull and photo booth.  

WPSO Sheriff Jason Parker was thankful in this instance for the Permit Procedures Ordinance that was passed by the Webster Parish Police Jury a couple of years ago.  

“I had approximately 10 deputies assigned to work the event,” said Parker. “They (organizers) paid overtime for 3 to work traffic control.” 

The Permit Procedures Ordinance requires all organizers to fill out and submit an application no later than 45 days prior to the event with a non-refundable fee of $500. They are also to submit a copy of all promotional materials, applicant’s driver’s license and proof of ownership or lease of the property that the event will take place on. The organizers are also responsible for contacting the Webster Parish Health Unit if food is to be served and arranging for emergency medical services. If alcohol is going to be served, they must obtain a Louisiana Special Event Permit.  

“There are some other sheriffs in parishes around in our area that have not passed that permit process for those large groups coming in and they are having some issues,” said Parker.  

According to Parker, the organizers for the FreakNik Finale event thoroughly followed the procedures put into place.  

“We counted over 600 cars that came in through that front door,” said Parker. “The security team at the front gate secured over 40 guns from going into that event. That’s how important it is to have that leverage to go in there.” 

Stallion Oilfield Services loaned the sheriff’s office a mobile security camera system to set up in the doors of the event in case there were unfortunate circumstances that developed.  

“From now on that’s going to be part of my deal. If they want to have an event, I want there to be a camera system in place. I think that deterred anything from happening,” said Parker.  

They are currently working with Stallion to determine costs that will be included in the expenses of the event organizers in the future. 

Director of Webster Parish 911 Angie Chapman requested that they be notified of dates, times and anticipated attendees of larger events in the future because they are not included in the permitting process. Chapman specifically requested they be made aware of the ambulance company that is contracted to work the event. 

“That matters to 911 because it changes the way we dispatch for the entire rest of the parish,” said Chapman. “If a certain company is contracted to be at that event, then any 911 call that comes into 911 from that event has to be directed to that company and also we have to take into consideration, do we have enough trucks available to cover the rest of the parish that may not be at the event.” 

The Webster Parish Police Jury, Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office and Webster Parish 911 will continue to work closely together to make sure the residents of the parish are safe and that all procedures are being followed during future permitted events.