Home Local News St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Reacts to Governor’s State of Emergency that Addresses Police Officer Shortage

St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Reacts to Governor’s State of Emergency that Addresses Police Officer Shortage

by KQKInews
2 minutes read

Governor Jeff Landry has issued an executive order establishing a State of Emergency in response to the critical shortage of police officers in the state. This action highlights the urgent need to recruit more officers to ensure public safety.

The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, represented by Executive Director Michael Ranatza, has praised the Governor for his action. Ranatza said, “We applaud Governor Landry for highlighting the importance of the law enforcement profession and our state’s desperate need to fill valuable front-line deputy positions,”

Governor Landry, with his background as a police officer and sheriff’s deputy, says he recognizes the importance of law enforcement. “As a former police officer and sheriff’s deputy, I understand the vital role our law enforcement officers play in our communities. Currently, our state is facing a shortage of officers, resulting in increased crime and less public safety. Today’s executive order, and the upcoming crime special session, will ensure our law enforcement officers are supported and we can begin to bring law and order back to our state,” said Landry.

During this State of Emergency, certain legal constraints, such as the “Payroll Padding” law (RS 14:139.1), are suspended. This law previously restricted the hiring process and budgeting for law enforcement salaries, preventing departments like the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office (SMPSO) from hiring the personnel they require.

In a statement, the SMPSO said the suspension of this law by Governor Landry’s order now allows for the necessary hiring of additional staff. The upcoming special session in Baton Rouge will address several crime and law enforcement issues, including parole reforms, increased penalties for certain crimes, and juvenile crime.

Sheriff-Elect Gary Driskell said he is encouraged by the Governor’s action, “We applaud Governor Jeff Landry for recognizing the need for appropriate staff levels and the challenges we face in hiring law enforcement officers. I believe his proclamation will pave the way to expand hiring measures which will result in adequate staffing for enhanced public safety. This act by the governor’s office shows his commitment to public safety and recognition that our citizens want to feel safe in their communities.”

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