City marshals are independently elected officials who may appoint deputy marshals.

“In the marshals office, we work warrants, we work civil papers, we do traffics, we do criminal, we do a little bit of everything,” says Opelousas City Marshal Paul Mouton.

According to Louisiana state law, the marshal is the executive officer of the court. Law also states that he has the same powers and authority of the sheriff as they execute the orders and mandates of the court.

“We also work bench warrants. When they don’t come to court, the judge issues a bench warrant the judge turns the bench warrant to the Marshal’s office, our job is to go out and find these people and bring them in,” says Mouton.

He says his office works closely with the police department and the sheriff’s office in times of crisis.

“Right now our hands are full we have a lot of gun violence going on here in the city,” he said. “We are working with the city police to try to stop some of this gun violence.”

Deputy marshals have the same powers as a marshal and both are protected by state law.