Deputy Shortage Prompts Governor Landry’s State of Emergency

( – On Friday February 16, Republican Governor of Louisiana, Jeff Landry, signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency over the shortage of sheriff deputies in his state. Deputies are a key element of law enforcement in more rural areas as they serve entire counties, not just a specific city or town. The state of Louisiana is down almost 1,800 deputies throughout the state, which reflects a significant shortage that has resulted in more crime and lower public safety.

Executive Director of Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, Michael Ranatza, applauded the Governor’s action, saying that it is highlighting the desperate need for more front-line officers in Louisiana. A former sheriff’s deputy himself, Landry says he has personal understanding of the importance of law enforcement on the safety of the communities he represents. He added that he hopes to bring law and order back to Louisiana.

The executive order he signed temporarily suspends a decades-old law that was designed to reduce “political payroll padding. The law was designed to prevent sheriffs from hiring masses of police ahead of an election with the intent of using them for various campaign activities. It also prohibits hiring over 5% over the current force all at once or raising payroll by more than 15%. The suspension will last until next month, giving the state the freedom to increase their law enforcement personnel as much as they can within that time frame.

This is just part of Governor Landry’s platform of being tough on crime. During his campaign he acknowledged that his state has a real problem in that arena. In 2023, WalletHub, an online personal finance company, rated Louisiana as the least safe state in the U.S. Landry has outlined over 2 dozen areas of law enforcement for the crime-focused special session he has called for. These would include tougher penalties for carjackings, stricter parole standards, and even challenging the age at which a youthful offender may be tried as an adult.

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