Sheriff Sid Gautreaux talks about what's ahead in second term

Published: Jul. 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM CDT
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Sheriff Sid Gautreaux is sworn-in for his second term in office.
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux is sworn-in for his second term in office.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The swearing in of East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux was just a moment to pause for the longtime law enforcement officer. Then, it was back to work on his second term in office.

Gautreaux has served the parish for 36 years and is now in his second term as sheriff. The sheriff said during his first term, his office saw violent crimes decrease by more than 40 percent and he wants to expand on that success.

"I'm here to serve and protect, to try and improve the quality of life for every human being in this parish," Gautreaux said. "I think if you ever lose sight of that in this line of business, you need to go find something else to do."

During his re-election campaign, Gautreaux touted his office's accomplishments, which include a strong community outreach program, an increase in self help programs in the parish prison and a reduction in crime rates. The sheriff wants that momentum to continue.

He praised the Baton Rouge Police Department's BRAVE project and agrees that community involvement is key to reducing crime.

"Law enforcement in itself, we're not going to be as successful as you want us to be and as we want to be with the issue of crime. Crime is everybody's problem. The community's got to work with us," Gautreaux explained.

To continue attacking crime successfully, the sheriff says all law enforcement must bring every resource to the table and work together.

"It's everybody's problem. It's their problem, it's our problem and I'm here to help. If you don't want me, you just need to get out of the way or go somewhere else," Gautreaux added.

Gautreaux said he also wants to continue to improve the parish prison system.

"What we've done as far as rehabilitation in the penal system for the most part has been a failure. So, what do we do? We've got to look at other ways to reach these people," said Gautreaux.

During his first term, the sheriff's office created several new self-help programs, including GED programs and faith-based programs. However, he says his office is limited by the prison facility and funding.

"We're doing everything we can at the parish prison to work with what we have and with the facility that we have to work with. I would like to have a mental health wing; we have a lot of people who have mental health problems. I'd love to have a chemical dependency wing," said Gautreaux.

Gautreaux explained the majority of inmates suffer from some sort of addiction, which contributes to their criminal behavior.

Above all, the public servant said his second term has one focus, reducing the crime rate in East Baton Rouge Parish.

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