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|Police jurors take oaths of office; three new members join parish body|
Members of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury, including three new members, were sworn in Monday during the police jury's first meeting of the new year.
Charles Jackson, Pat Moore and Shane Smiley officially took their police jury seats Monday night.
Before the meeting, the police jury honored outgoing jurors King Dawson, Kim Golden and Paul Hargrove with a plaque for their service to the parish.
Jurors also elected officers, keeping Walt Caldwell and Dorth Blade as the president and vice president of the police jury respectively.
The police jury also agreed to allow Sheriff Richard Fewell to use about 20 acres north of the sheriff's rifle range for free public walking trails.
While the police jury has used the land to acquire dirt for public works operations, parish attorney Jay Mitchell said the parish today has no need for the 20 acres.
"This land has no real use for any of those purposes, and from a public works standpoint, they have no need for this property," Mitchell said.
Juror Mack Calhoun, who brought the matter before the jury, agreed that the parish has no use for the land. He requested the police jury enter into an agreement with the sheriff, allowing his office to use the land for the development of walking trails.
"I've talked to public works and they say there is no dirt left there … they've already dug it all, so the land has no use for anything but walking trails," Calhoun said.
The jury unanimously agreed to donate the 20 acres to the Sheriff's Office for the use of walking trails.
During summer 2006, the sheriff opened the public rifle range in western Ouachita Parish. The sheriff's office entered into a 94-year agreement with the police jury and private land owners for use of the land for the rifle range.
The police jury donated 60 acres to house the rifle range. The remaining portion of land was given to the Sheriff's Office by Bobby Albritton and I.H. Tidwell.
Calhoun also requested the police jury get a cost estimate for the road extension project and parking improvements at the rifle range.