Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal has announced that he will not ask voters to approve a property tax increase to fund the construction of a new jail.
Within the past few days, the Sheriff commissioned a telephone poll to determine the interest of Washington Parish residents to build a new jail. The poll indicated that it is questionable whether or not a tax proposal would pass, so Sheriff Seal decided it would not be fair for the parish to incur the expense of another election for a proposal that is not likely to succeed.
Sheriff Seal stated, “My goal today is the same as it was when I took office one year ago; namely, to clean up our parish and to arrest drug dealers, criminals, thugs and knuckleheads that prey on our citizens. When I chose to run for Sheriff, I knew we had an old, dirty and poorly managed jail and that the Sheriff’s Office was on the verge of bankruptcy. I was willing to take on the challenge of turning the Office around and helping to mold it into the type of Sheriff’s Office that the honest, hard-working taxpayers of Washington Parish deserve.”
The Sheriff has made great strides in accomplishing his goals. A sound financial management program was put into place. The number of patrol deputies and detectives was increased. The jail was cleaned up and a professional Warden and jail staff was hired. The sex offender registration and verification program was resurrected and many other positive changes were instituted. In addition, training for deputies, detectives and jail staff was put into place.
The Sheriff continued, “Does our jail need to be replaced? Absolutely. The current jail building presents serious constitutional and management issues that limit our ability to effectively lock up criminals and keep them behind bars where they belong. In addition, required maintenance on the old building is a great financial burden on the taxpayers. But, it is what it is and we will continue to manage it to the best of our ability.”
The poll also indicated that Washington Parish residents are happy with the job being done by the Sheriff’s Office as it serves parish citizens. Sheriff Seal pledged that he will continue to upgrade all functions of the Office and will continue to do the best job possible with the resources at his disposal.
Although he will not ask for a tax to build a new jail, Sheriff Seal does ask for the prayers of all Washington Parish citizens as the Sheriff’s Office continues to serve them. He also reminds all parish citizens that his door is always open to them.