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|Response times reasonable|
While attending a Sheriff's Office Election Forum hosted by the Monroe Rotary Club, I heard several candidates make claims that calls to the Sheriff's Office from rural areas of the parish are not being answered in reasonable times.
Candidates Joe Brady and former Monroe Police chief Ron Schleuter both commented that citizens in Sterlington have said that sheriff's deputies have taken up to an hour to respond to some calls. These are simply not the response times I have experienced.
I live in the Swartz area and have had to call the Sheriff's Office on two occasions. The first was in response to a domestic dispute down the street. The other call was an accidental panic alarm being triggered on my alarm system. In both events, sheriff's deputies responded in around three minutes! That's 1/10th of the response time my wife (then fiancée) experienced with the Monroe PD when her house was burglarized and feared to have still been occupied by the burglars in March of 2010.
Based on our experience, I would advise former Monroe Police Chief Schleuter to not make response times an issue in his campaign.
I wish not to make light of the Sterlington residents' claims, but I will argue that this is the exception, not the rule in my experience. I believe that there is always room for improvement in our Sheriff's Office. Our community is constantly changing and the Sheriff's Office must continuously evolve to keep up.
My fellow citizens of Ouachita Parish, rest easy. The men and women in tan and brown of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office are diligently policing our community, both suburban and rural.