The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office says they will be operating with fewer employees, following a layoff scheduled for December 2, 2019.
They say this downsizing comes after months of cuts, restructuring and repeated attempts to secure critical funding for daily operations.
Sheriff Garber says the changes are necessary to maintain the financial health of the agency.
According to officials with LPSO, offender programming will also be modified and reduced as part of this financial reorganization. They say this will have no impact on the offenders’ incarceration status.
Priorities such as recruitment and retention, and maintaining competitive pay in the marketplace were also factors in this process, officials said. They added that recent raises in pay for law enforcement officers employed by surrounding agencies further emphasized these needs.
LPSO says that to reduce the overall impact of this financial reorganization, the first step taken was to decrease the agency’s size by leaving positions vacant that were caused by natural attrition (resignations, retirements and terminations).
Certain offender programs and services were streamlined as well. The following programs are either undergoing changes or are being suspended by necessity:
- The LPSO Vegetable Farm
- Outpatient Services Program
- Drug Testing Services
- The Transitional Work Program
- JAC/Youth Services
- Inmate Work Crews
- Alternative Sentencing Program
LPSO says they will continue to closely examine their options to ensure “these valuable programs can be reinstated as soon as possible.”
“I will not compromise my duty to public safety by maintaining non-mandated programs while being unable to fairly compensate the brave and compassionate men and women who serve Lafayette Parish,” Sheriff Garber said. “No one likes the idea of layoffs because you know individual families are affected, but I have a greater duty to the public and to our employees who expect the very best law enforcement; and I promised to provide it.”
According to LPSO, some employees who have been notified of the layoffs are being offered employment in other open positions within the agency. Those who do not meet the qualifications for reassignment or do not accept the open positions will qualify for unemployment benefits.