EAST FELICIANA PARISH, La. (WAFB) - For the past few years, the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office has solved every homicide that happened in the parish, which is quite unusual for any law enforcement agency across the country.
“So we’re excited about starting the second term,” said East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Jeff Travis.
The normally quiet and quaint East Feliciana Parish doesn't typically see a lot of crime.
“In my first term, we had 18 homicides, which was really unusual for a small parish like we have,” said Sheriff Travis.
Travis took the reins back in 2016, and with those 18 homicides his department has investigated, he says all of the crimes have been solved.
“Which is very very unusual. Across the nation, the national average for solving homicides is about 62%, but we’re at 100%,” said Travis.
The sheriff’s office only has about 70 deputies total on staff. That now includes four certified homicide detectives.
Sheriff Travis credits his former Chief Deputy Greg Phares for his work.
“They [deputies] go out and talk to a lot of people. Most of the guys there know a lot of people in the parish, and I think people are probably more willing to talk to us in a small department setting than in an urban setting,” said Greg Phares, former chief deputy of the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The biggest case for this department was against suspected serial killer, Ryan Sharpe. He’s accused of shooting and killing multiple men in East Feliciana Parish and one in East Baton Rouge Parish.
“So that was probably the most memorable one, and that was actually the one I personally caught because I happened to be there when he [Sharpe] came down the road after the chase,” said Phares.
Back in June, a judge in East Feliciana Parish threw out Sharpe’s first-degree murder conviction after his lawyers said the jury’s split verdict was unconstitutional. A new trial will take place in December.
Sheriff Travis hopes to continue the good relationship with members of the community in the future in order to keep the crime rate down in the parish.
“And I will work hard everyday. You know, we can’t stop everything from happening, but we can give 150% every day, and we do that to try and make it right, to do the best thing we can for the people, and I’m honored to be able to serve the people of East Feliciana,” said Travis.
The sheriff says he has an open door policy, but says if you have an emergency, dial 911.
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