Announcement

I want to thank everyone for taking time from their busy schedules to be here today. I want to also thank the staff at Acadian Village for doing their usual outstanding job of making us comfortable as we put together our event.

I want to thank my family for being here - my wife Christine, My in-laws Jimmie and Barbara Dugas and my parents Harry and Judith Leger.

I especially want to thank my parents for their hard work all these years and for the values they instilled in me.

Hard work. Community. Commitment. Service. Honesty.

As we start out fresh in the New Year, I am excited by the changes taking place in our criminal justice community here in Lafayette Parish.

We have elected an experienced and highly qualified new District Attorney, in Mr. Keith Stutes.

And a highly experienced and energetic new City Marshal, in Mr. Brian Pope.

We also elected two impressive new judges, in Judge Michelle Breaux and Judge Charles Fitzgerald.

I am energized by these changes and I believe they will be beneficial to our communities in the coming years.

One thing we know for sure is that we are going to see even more changes in the coming election.

Louisiana will elect a new Governor. Lafayette Parish will elect a new City-Parish President.

And now, with Sheriff Mike Neustrom’s recent announcement -- Lafayette Parish will elect a new Sheriff. (pause)

I’d like to take a moment to thank Sheriff Neustrom for his years of service to Lafayette Parish. His work over the years resulted in the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office receiving national certification and accreditations. This is an important achievement and one that needs to be preserved and built upon. He has also done important work in developing alternatives to incarceration for those cases in which certain non-violent individuals can receive assistance and training allowing them to become productive members of society.

After considerable thought, prayer and conversations with family, friends and supporters, I have decided to become a candidate for Sheriff of Lafayette Parish in the election on October 24th, 2015.

I believe I have the experience, qualifications and commitment to serve Lafayette Parish well as Sheriff.

I am a career law enforcement professional with over 26 years of experience.

I served with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office for 14 years, from 1988 to 2002.

I worked as a Patrol Officer, in the Motorcycle Division, in Narcotics, in the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), and in the “SWAT” (SRT) Division. One of the most rewarding positions that I served in was as K-9 resource officer for the Lafayette Parish Schools protecting our kids.

Since 2003, I have served as the Chief of Police in Scott. In November, I was re-elected without opposition to my fourth term.

I am very proud that our community has been recognized as safest in the parish and second safest in the state according to FBI Uniform Crime Statistics for 2012.

I am committed to working hard to protect the lives and property of our people.

I think it’s a good time to elect a Sheriff with a strong law enforcement background. I believe a Sheriff who knows what it’s like to serve in uniform and who has the experience in a range of law enforcement roles is important to ensuring that best practices are used in the field, and that both officers and the public are protected.

I am committed to ensuring that our law enforcement personnel are well-trained and properly equipped. For example, the Scott Police Department has pioneered the use of body cameras in Lafayette Parish. We have been using them for two years and we are seeing added accountability for both the officers and the general public.

We have valuable experience in operating this type of system -- complying with law, ensuring officers are properly trained, and ensuring evidence is protected in those sensitive cases where privacy concerns and the rights of children are involved. I look forward to exploring this issue with Lafayette Parish’s law enforcement agencies to share ideas on how and when to best use this technology.

I am also very serious about departmental certifications and continuing education in law enforcement. I am proud to have Chaired the POST (Police Officer Standard Training) subcommittee that worked successfully to pass legislation requiring 20 hours of continuing education annually for all law enforcement officers in Louisiana.

Personally, I have logged over 230 hours of continuing education in 103 separate sessions on a host of topics at the Law Enforcement Executive Management Institute (LEEMI) over the past decade.

I have also been active in professional organizations, serving previously as President of the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, and President of the Southwest Louisiana Chiefs of Police Association.

I believe interagency communication is an important factor in successful law enforcement and crime prevention. I will work closely with our new District Attorney and our new Marshal.

I will work closely with the Chiefs of Police in Lafayette, Broussard, Carencro, Duson, Scott and Youngsville. I am blessed to have strong working relationships with the Chiefs in Lafayette Parish. We all started together in law enforcement, so we were friends and colleagues before we became Chiefs.

I would appreciate an opportunity to bring my energy and passion to the job of Sheriff. I have been preparing for this responsibility for 26 years.

I am prepared to run a winning campaign for Sheriff. I am already working hard, reaching out to business leaders and elected officials, and organizing my campaign team. I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of support and encouragement in recent months. I am particularly excited about the level of financial support in just a few short weeks.

I have a lot of confidence that we will be successful in this campaign.

I am looking forward to sharing my experience, qualifications and vision with the voters of Lafayette Parish.

I thank you for coming out today, I ask you for your trust and support in my bid to be YOUR Sheriff as well as I ask for your VOTE.

Thank you and Keep Safe.