Six months ago Sid Gautreaux took the oath of office as Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish.  That’s a fair amount of time to assess the job someone is doing and to grade their performance.

Outstanding Warrants:  The EBR Sheriff’s Office has 74,000 outstanding warrants.  Gautreaux held a press conference a couple weeks ago to announce that 50 officers worked three days to clear 293 warrants resulting in 100 arrests.  If my math is correct, this means that if they work another 250 days, they will clear the remaining warrants.   If 1/3 are arrested, and if that figure is an average, an additional 24,667 would be arrested.  No wonder Mayor Kip Holden wants taxpayers to fund a new jail to the tune of $55 million.  The Sheriff claims these warrants are mainly for domestic abuse and marijuana abuse.  I prefer to see more officers on the streets or arrests for violent offenders.  Grade on outstanding warrants:  D

Crime Statistics:  I would like to see some current crime statistics from the Sheriff’s office.  The latest crime statistics on the EBR Sheriff’s website are from 2006.  Let’s move into the 20th century folks!  I wrote The Advocate a couple of months ago and was told they also inquired and the Sheriff’s new staff was ‘working on it.’  Look, I don’t want to be hard on the new Sheriff, but for God’s sake can we get some updated statistics or what?  We do live in the age of technology.  Grade on publishing crime statistics:  F

Drug Traffic:  During the election, Gautreaux promised to develop an aggressive anti-drug trafficking plan of action.  Drugs are a major part of our crime problem in East Baton Rouge Parish.  In April, city police and the sheriff’s office announced a new crime abatement team that would work together.  According to their spokeswoman, 32 arrests for drugs had been made by the EBRSO.  Each arrest is an improvement; however, we need to see a major increase in drug arrests in order to curb drug traffic in EBRP.  Grade on Drug Traffic Efforts:  C

Uniform Patrol:  Sheriff Gautreaux claimed his number one goal was to put more uniform patrol officers on the streets.  To date, no announcement has been made as to whether patrols have been increased.  Since Gautreaux is a smooth politician that takes advantage of every opportunity to be in front of the camera or hold a press conference, I think it is safe to say he has not yet made this a reality.  Grade for increasing uniform patrol:  F

Improving communications center:  Oddly enough, another issue discussed in the sheriff’s race was the need for communications to improve technically between law enforcement agencies.  This issue will be another one that Mayor-President Kip Holden will address with a tax increase this fall, so everyone will have to wait for this improvement to take place.  The plan that is in the works is to move the sheriff’s office communication center from Central to the main communication center near the airport.  Because no action will be taken unless taxes are raised:  Grade for improving technical communications:  F

High-Profile Presence:  I would have to give a high grade as to media exposure and physical presence for crimes that have a high profile in the media for Sheriff Gautreaux.  He seems to have held quite a few press conferences, showed a physical presence, and been willing to be interviewed on criminal cases and proposed efforts and plans for the future.  This could equate to political savvy or having his own ‘boots on the ground’, so for now:  Grade for high-profile physical presence:  B

Overall Grade:  Based on averages, on the issues listed above, our new Sheriff, Sid Gautreaux, seems to be batting below average.  Six months in office should be more than enough time to grade someone’s performance in a new job.  Most good managers and leaders set the pace immediately and quickly make changes.  The main changes we have seen to date include moving around personnel, promotions, hiring, firing, and assessing what needs to be done.  When the voters elect someone, they expect action.  When Litchfield took office, he moved quickly and that was ages ago.  Based on the slow movement to date, I would have to give Sheriff Gautreaux a near failing grade thus far.  Grade average:  D

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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