LAFAYETTE - "Protection and safety is not free." said Evangeline Sheriff Charles Guillory
Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory has proposed a one cent sales tax increase for the Sheriff's Department. He says he needs more officers.
"We need more patrol, more narcotics officers, more investigators. You know I only have one or two that's on duty and how am I going to serve the parish with one or two patrol men in the area." said Guillory
The sales tax increase would also give EPSO some three million dollars to rebuild it's jail and divvy up larger salaries. He says his officers risk their lives daily for a meere $8.76.
"Crime doesn't stop. I need a juvenile officer, we need school resource officers, we need animal control officers. I have none of those, none whatsoever." said Guillory
The parish has had the same tight budget since 1977. Guillory fears if things don't change crime will only grow and one Evangeline Parish resident agrees.
"Crazy stuff, breaking into stores, into pharmacies for some drugs to get their drugs. They're doing stupid crazy stuff, stealing cars, breaking into cars." said Deborah Ann Edwards
Edwards believes some of the money should go to helping inmates get a job.
The Sheriff says that this is the first proposed sales tax increase in the parish and while he knows this is a good idea he does have concerns over voter turnout. The last time the parish had an election only 3% of it's residents showed up.
Evangeline Parish residents will be able to vote on the one cent sales tax increase on April 24th.