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Sheriff Elect Charles Guillory addresses Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury hears from Sheriff Elect Charles Guillory March 2, 2020 A packed police jury meeting room that included mayors and police chiefs, State Senator Heather Cloud and Representative Rhonda Butler and State Police Major Wayne Vidrine listened to an address from Sheriff Elect Charles Guillory. Appearing at Monday’s police jury meeting, Guillory invited public officials to come together. “Crime is on the increase. The only way we can solve this problem is to come together and work together,” he said. Guillory said juvenile crime has greatly increased. Juvenile offenders are being charged and then with no holding facilities are being released to the custody of their parents. The challenge facing the incoming sheriff is that his entire budget is only 2.4 million dollars based on 5.52 mills that were approved way back in 1977. Neighboring parishes such as Avoyelles Parish has a 6 million dollar budget. “I want to increase patrols, have school resource officers and fight drugs but all of that takes money,” said Guillory.The new sheriff wants to have a minimum of five patrolmen per shift when he takes office on June 30. He said the highest paid officer in the sheriff’s office is the Major who is being paid only $15.75 an hour while the lowest paid officer is getting paid $11.30 an hour. He commented “I want to hire good officers and pay them enough so they will stay with us:. Guillory assured those in attendance that he will work with state and federal agencies to fight the growing drug problem in Evangeline Parish. He stated the current parish jail is “finished”. A new much larger jail could bring in additional revenues to the sheriff’s office by holding state and federal inmates as well as holding juvenile offenders. Right now, the police jury is payomg some $290,000 to house parish prisoners in out of parish jails. A number of audience members spoke up during the sheriff’s presentation. Ville Platte City Councilman Faye Lemoine said’ If there was ever a time we need to come together to fight drugs and gang activity, it is now. You can’t do it without money”. A number of audience members urged the sheriff to look at ways to help find gainful employment for these troubled young people instead of jailing them. Police Jury President Ryan Williams promised to help Charles Guillory in any way possible. In other action the police jury: --advertised for the sale of 1.47 acres plot at the Industrial Park with an approved value of $36,750; --received news from their insurance consultant that Blue Cross was the provider with the lowest quote for their group health care plan to bring down the price from large spike last year from United Health Care. --heard from Senator Heather Cloud urging parish residents to complete their 2020 Federal Census survey; --received a report that Crooked Creek attracted 1900 campers in 2019; --reappointed Felix Morein to the Tee Mamou Water District Board. --approved a decrease in sales tax collected in February for a total of @257,284;

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