VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB
SEPTEMBER 23, 2014
The Ville Platte Rotary Club , today (Tuesday) heard from Evangeline Parish Sheriff Eddie Soileau discuss a situation his department is facing after losing $300,000 in state funds . The cut in funds took place when his department failed to comply with certain state rules dealing with state prisoners. Sheriff Soileau said “I did not follow the mandates such as having a nurse and registered dietician on staff.” He said the state also wanted the department to have a working suicide prevention program in place.
The state was paying the sheriff’s department nearly $25 a day to hold state prisoners as compared to the parish that pays only $3.50 a day for its prisoners. As a result of non compliance, all of the state inmates were removed from the parish jail.
Sheriff Soileau said he could not afford to pay the additional expenses to comply with the state mandates. Now with the loss of state funding, the sheriff said he will have to start cutting expenses by the first of the year. He warned the people of Evangeline Parish that the cuts could result in only having 2 deputies patrolling the entire parish. His department is planning to have some fund raisers such as raffles and BBQ’s to help purchase needed equipment for his department.
He reported that it costs $10,000 to certify a deputy. He said once a deputy is certified, chances are he leaves for a higher paying law enforcement agency. He said next year, the state will force law enforcement agencies to certify part time officers as well.
The sheriff said “If you want law enforcement in Evangeline Parish, then we have to make some major changes. There is just no money to provide the services we need to do.”
Rotarian Vic Slaven who invited the sheriff to speak told rotary members that the financial situation is critical with the sheriff department. Slaven’s C.P.A. firm handles the auditing services for the sheriff’s office.
Also speaking at the rotary club was U.S. Congressman John Fleming who spoke about the military situation in Iraq and Syria. The congressman was asked by Rep. Bernard LeBas and Brent Coreil to work in helping us fund the four laning of US 167 between Ville Platte and Opelousas.