DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Wednesday, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard spelled out the focus of his first year in office with a look back. That includes one event that's put the sheriff on both sides of the law.
"I want to make sure everybody knows I do have my keys," Sheriff Ard joked, before addressing the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce. Ard held up the keys to his personal truck, which was stolen late last month while he ate dinner with his family at a Baton Rouge restaurant.
Ard's parish issued fire arm, which was inside the stolen truck, is still missing.
The sheriff was scheduled to speak at the chamber luncheon about crime in Livingston; specifically reviewing his first year in office.
Ard says he create a burglary division shortly after taking office because property crimes have increased in the parish. He says the six deputies he put in position made a total of 693 arrests in the last year and recovered just over $1 million of stolen property.
Ard says he also put more man power into getting drugs off the streets. He says deputies have seized about $41,000 and five vehicles from drug dealers. Law enforcement officials have also taken part in three parish-wide roundups. In which the sheriff says they have seized: 993 grams of cocaine, 4,147 grams of marijuana, 392 grams of methamphetamine, 1,088 individual pills and 2,080 grams of methylone, which is known by its street name, Molly.
A criminal patrol unit has also been busy in the past year. It is made up of deputies who patrol high crime areas. Ard says 500 arrests were made from their patrols.
Ard says he and his deputies are committed to keeping Livingston and its residents safe. And he realizes he too can be on the opposite side of the law.
"I've only been two months into my second year. I've learned one thing ... If you go to Baton Rouge to eat dinner and your truck gets stolen, it (sic) don't really matter. It's not big news, unless you're the sheriff."