Fate of Sorrento PD still undecided, agenda items tabled

SORRENTO, LA (WAFB) - The emergency meeting held Saturday morning to determine the fate of the Sorrento Police Department sparked into fireworks as council members couldn't agree on two items on the agenda. The council voted to table both items until Tuesday.

The first item on the agenda was to vote to bring in the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office to take over law enforcement in the City of Sorrento. This contract would be from now until December 31.

The Sheriff's proposal to the City of Sorrento will cost them about $37,000 per month, which is almost double what it currently costs the police department to operate. Sorrento Police Chief Earl Theriot says it currently costs him about $19,000 per month.

The second matter was to consider a quote from an outside insurance company that would provide liability insurance for the police vehicles.

The insurance company that currently insures the Sorrento Police Department (SPD) plans to cancel its coverage on Tuesday November 19; citing the department's claims history and hiring practices as to why they are canceling the coverage.

If the department cannot pick up another insurance policy, it will have to close.

There is one insurance company willing to cover liability for the Sorrento PD. Mayor Mike Lambert says even if they voted to approve the insurance company's quote, the insurance would not go into effect before the current insurance expires.

"If we cannot find a carrier by that deadline, we will not allow our officers to utilize the police units, allow officers to patrol or answer any calls of service in the town of Sorrento," Assistant Police Chief Ricky Smith explained.

The current insurance expires Tuesday, and that is when city officials will vote on what to do next.

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