Jeff Davis Police Jury members vote to give themselves raises

Published 8:29 am Friday, June 14, 2024

Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury members have voted to give themselves a $450 a month raise beginning July 1.

Police jurors adopted an ordinance Wednesday increasing their salaries from $800 a month to $1,250 a month after hearing no opposition during a public hearing. Police Juror David Lejeune was absent from the vote.

The police jury president will receive an additional $400 for a total monthly salary of $1,650.

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Money for the pay raises will come from the general fund.

Police Jury President Steve Eastman said the increase is needed to put the parish more in line with neighboring parishes and compensate individuals for mileage and attending board meetings, conventions  and other events to represent the parish.

“All we get is a salary,” Eastman said.  “We don’t get retirement, hospitalization, per diem or mileage reimbursement. All the other parishes around us either receive more money or receive some or all of their benefits.”

The only other nearby parish that receives $800 a month is Acadia Parish which also provides insurance to police jurors, Eastman said.

In comparing other parishes, Beauregard Parish receives $1,600 with all benefits and $100 per month for deferred income. Calcasieu Parish receives $1,600 with benefits.

Vermilion Parish receives $1,600 with no benefits while Evangeline Parish receives $1,600 with mileage, health and $200 travel allowance.

Allen Parish police jurors receive $1,200 a month with mileage and a phone while Cameron Parish police jurors receive $1,000 a month with health, vision, dental, retirement and mileage.

“Increasing the salaries will allow the police jurors to take care of their rural districts,” Eastman said. “They are doing it now, but they are spending more than what they are earning. We also feel with a little more money more people will be inclined to run for the position.”

After the meeting, Police Juror Butch Lafargue, who made the motion to increase the salaries, said the increase will be the first for police jurors in more than 40 years.

“Everybody thinks this is a part-time job and it is, but I put in 20 to 30 hours a week doing it,” Lafargue said. “Plus it takes away from my other job. This part-time job is a full-time job if you do it right.”

Lafargue said  police jurors use their own money, gas and vehicles while performing most of their duties.

“I believe people believe that we get a company truck, a company phone, company gas, company insurance and we get paid mileage but we don’t get none of that,” he said. “So if a juror gets a call at 10 p.m. they go in their personal vehicle and they burn their personal gas and they don’t get reimbursed for gas or mileage…It’s all on them.”