Capt. Lance Broussard and Eddie Langlinais face off as the current sheriff, Mike Couvillon, steps down after 20 years of service. Broussard said he is excited to be in the runoff and has stayed on a positive campaign.
“We’ve been working hard over the last four years to win a race. The momentum has worked positively in building our campaign in the right direction,” Broussard said. “Vermilion Parish, you have a candidate that has helped your parish for 35 years, who will continue to help its parish to bring stronger, more effective law enforcement to Vermilion Parish.
Broussard said as sheriff, he would help fight crime, get rid of drugs, and bring stronger education to the youth by bringing stronger lessons in a D.A.R.E program to 7th and 10th graders.
“I need your vote. You have a candidate that had worked 20 years on the streets of Vermilion Parish—the last 16 years of my career, I worked in the school system. I helped these kids about making smart choices, helped with bullying, and helped to keep these schools safe,” Broussard said. “I didn’t just teach in a classroom. I kept these schools safe. I plan to increase this in Vermilion Parish, where you have more officers in our school because the children are our future. We have to keep our schools, our kids, our teachers, our staff safe in Vermilion Parish.”
He explained the importance of voters going out and voting.
“In 2002 to 2003, we had 50% of the voters that voted, which was 24,000 voters that voted in 2019, when I ran for sheriff, we had 18,000 voters that had voted in Vermilion Parish,” Broussard explained. “In my last race, we had 16,000. So the numbers are coming down. The voters are not turning out like they should. I’m encouraging Vermilion Parish to stand up on November 18th. You have a chance to make a big decision for Vermilion Parish. I need you. I need every vote. I humbly ask for your vote because, in our time of need, we need every vote, and every vote counts.”
Broussard is faced with his opponent, Langlinais, who tells voters to look at each candidate’s resume.
“I didn’t just stay in Vermilion Parish. I had the opportunity in October of 1991. I was one of two people hired by the United States marshals from Louisiana. It was an honor for me to work at that level, and I didn’t just work at that level. I became a supervisor, and I supervisor at that level, which is the highest level of law enforcement in the nation, and I want to bring that level of knowledge and experience back to the sheriff’s office,” said Langlinais.
One goal Langlinais wants to achieve if the next sheriff is a juvenile detention center to tackle juvenile crime.
“We have a major juvenile issue here in Vermilion Parish, and it’s not just Vermilion Parish. It’s the Acadian area, where juveniles have no consequences. They’re sending them home with their mom or their dad, and they just can’t handle it,” Langlinais explained.
Langlinais said the Lafayette Juvenile Detention Center is the only local juvenile detention center. However, it tends to stay filled up with Lafayette juveniles.
“We need to come up with some type of common solution within an eight-parish area where we can all work together for a location to put our juveniles,” Langlinais said. “We’re having a house, our juveniles, sometimes out of state, but I believe working with our new representatives, our new governor. I believe we can accomplish those goals.”
Another goal Langlinais would like to achieve is to organize juvenile programs.
“We have a fantastic training facility at the sheriff’s office. I want to utilize that training facility to to have juveniles come in and have people from the area in different fields like our farmers, welders, construction workers, law enforcement, first responders, all the way to attorneys, doctors. I want to have them come in and talk about their life experience and how they got to where they are,” Langlinais explained. “Encourage these juveniles, that there are other options that they can take besides just the streets. As it stands right now, a lot of them, that’s all they see is the streets, but if we offer them options and not only options at a high education level, but show them there are other things that, you know, it doesn’t require higher education, that things that they can do to where they’re on the street, not constantly looking over their shoulder, breaking the law. This is legitimate jobs that we like to give them the opportunity to research.”
As election day gets closer, Langlinais reminds voters to go vote.
“I’m encouraging everybody to look at the resumes and vote based on their resumes. We can’t look at it as a good old boy voting system anymore. We have to look at experience,” he said. I just want to encourage the voters to go out and vote no matter who they vote for. This is a privilege that we have, and I want to encourage all voters to get out and take the opportunity to vote.”
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