SORRENTO, LA (FOX44) — After months without a police department, the town of Sorrento has reached a solution, for now, at least.
After the losing the Police Department's insurance in November, laying off all but two police officers, and running a town without a police department, the city council made a unanimous decision Tuesday.
"The Sheriff's proposal to cover from 4:30 pm to 8 am Monday through Friday and 24 hours covered from Saturday and Sunday," said Mayor Mike Lambert.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office offered to fill in the gap at 36 dollars per hour up until March. But this agreement didn't come without controversy
Police Chief Earl Theriot said "We asked for a raise at the beginning of the year and we got
shot down." When Theriot asked about who is responsible, Lambert argued, "you are an elected official chief." Theriot said, "I understand that, but are you going to take the risk of me going out there?" Lambert said, "It's not my decision," "Oh yes it is," argued Theriot.
In the meantime, Theriot says they're looking for insurance who will cover them. but he says that the mayor held up the process, by withholding information from potential insurers
Theriot held up a copy of phone messages saying, "This was sitting over here a month before we found out about it. I never got a copy of these; it was sitting on his desk. He claimed he's never seen it. It was addressed to him. It might've not helped us, but why not get with me on it? So, that's a month we lost could've talking to good people, possibly good insurers."
But the mayor says that's not the case.
"I did not withhold anything from the chief. and this proves it right here," said Lambert, holding up a copy of those messages.
FOX44 obtained a copy of an email Sheriff wiley sent the council. He said "the overtime model to provide sheriff services to the town will not last long," and hopes that everyone becomes "serious
about the short and long term future of the town." Councilman Anny interjected, "I agree to go into deficit to protect our people. and that's the way it's going to be."
When asked if he would resign, Theriot said, "I ain't going nowhere. I was elected for this job and i'm
going to stay on this job." In the meantime, Theriot said he is going to be negotiating daytime law enforcement in Sorrento.