POINTE COUPEE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - In his hometown of Morganza, the “attaboys” and congratulations are still rolling in for Sheriff-Elect René Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux became the first new sheriff in Point Coupee Parish in 12 years, unseating current sheriff, Bud Torres.
“I went door to door and I went to every part of the parish and I tried to meet all 25,000 people, but I couldn’t,” Thibodeaux said. “I didn’t have enough time.“
He did knock on enough doors to secure his victory though, beating Torres with 58% of the vote.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’ve very excited and overwhelmed at the turnout at how many people are going to give me that chance to fulfill my dreams and to fulfill their goals of what they want to see in Pointe Coupee Parish.”
He will not take office until July of 2020, however, he’s already working on fulfilling the goals of the folks who elected him. To accomplish that, he says he must first shake things up in his department.
“It’s going to take that long of a time for me to figure out who are the best people, who are at the top of an organization and we already have some who may stay there,” he said. “I’m not saying I’m getting rid of everyone at the top, but we’re going to have to interview about 100 people one on one and say, hey, what are your goals? Do you want to work for Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office? Do you want to work for Sheriff Thibodeaux and how long do you want to stay? What positions do you want? What positions would you take and work that out? That’s a lot, that’s 100 employees.”
While he’s not planning on removing employees from the department, he wants people who have the same morals and core beliefs he does: integrity and respect for the residents in the parish.
“I want my philosophies to be brought to the table,” Thibodeaux said. “The bullet points that I have, the drugs, the juvenile crime and stuff like that, the new programs that I want to implement, so I just want to make sure that everyone at the sheriff’s office understand what I want to do, the changes I want to make because the people stood up and said they wanted some changes, so that’s why I’m going to do and I just want those employees to work with me on my philosophies, the changes that the people said they wanted.”
He says he understands he’s in the honeymoon stage of his service and that he has a lot of work to do.
“I’ve got my work cut out, I do. That’s going to be a big task.“