Sheriff Sid Pledges to Continue Serving City of St. George After Incorporation

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux has made clear that the incorporation of the City of St. George will make no real change in the service provided to the people of St. George by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Several years ago, the Sheriff was criticized for providing a “sweetheart deal” to the City of Central by providing services he did not provide in other areas.

The Sheriff took issue with that charge and said, “The people of Central pay the same parishwide property tax as everyone else in the parish. We’re providing the same law enforcement services in Central that we did before incorporation.  The creation of the City of Central has not changed anything from our standpoint.  We receive the same tax and we provide the same services as before.”

The Sheriff said he informed Central officials early on that if they want additional services from his office, they would have to pay for those services.  He reported that Central has requested such services and pays for them.

The City of Central currently pays the Sheriff’s Office several hundred thousand dollars a year for extra patrols and other services.

The City of Central has its own police department, which it pays for.  The Central Police Department has increased patrols in Central and also now works traffic accidents in Central, releasing the Sheriff and State Police from that responsibility almost entirely.  In that sense, the Sheriff’s office is performing one less job in Central than before incorporation yet is able to provide better overall service.

Sheriff Gautreaux has made it clear that his policy toward St. George will be consistent with his policy in the rest of the parish.

As a result, if St. George wants additional patrols, the city will have to pay for those expenses.

Gov. Jeff Landry has appointed one of Sheriff Gautreaux’s most trusted leaders — Major Todd Morris — as St. George Police Chief.  Morris will continue to work at the Sheriff’s Office while serving as interim Police Chief.

That appointment is likely to insure a close relationship between the Sheriff and the City of St. George as the new city decides to what degree it will develop its own police department.

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