Marshal candidates make pitch

The candidates are running in the Nov. 6 election to serve the remaining two years of Joey Alcede’s term after his retirement

Marshal’s Forum

{{tncms-inline content="<p><em>During a forum Oct. 9, Karl Gillard, a candidate for the Ward 3 City Marshal’s office, spoke of several things he would like to accomplish, if elected. They include alternative sentencing, educating landlords on proper eviction procedures and the junior deputy program.</em></p> <p><em>The American Press incorrectly reported on Oct. 10 that these improvements were already made during the 14 years Gillard worked as second-in-command for the marshal’s office.</em></p> <p><em>Gillard also retired from the Lake Charles Police Department after 30 years.</em></p> <hr />" id="7c515304-9f87-4af1-ba95-706266edf4a8" style-type="correction" title="Correction" type="relcontent"}}

<p class="indent">Six candidates for the Ward 3 City Marshal’s office talked at a forum Tuesday about improving the reserve deputy program, capping the marshal’s salary and informing residents on the duties of the office.

<p class="indent">The forum, hosted by the Delta Sigma Theta Lake Charles Alumnae Chapter, included candidates Vic Salvador, Jimmy Richard, Brad Harris, Karl Gillard, Nathan Keller and Bill Pousson. Jeff Hooper was unable to attend. The candidates are running in the Nov. 6 election to serve the remaining two years of Joey Alcede’s term once he retires in December.

<p class="indent">Salvador, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, retired from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office in July to focus on the campaign. He said he wants to see the law changed in order to bring the marshal’s salary to a reasonable amount that is comparable to the sheriff and police chief.

<p class="indent">Harris is a former fulltime sheriff’s deputy and a volunteer reserve deputy for the Marshal’s Office. He said the biggest potential for improvement in the office is the reserve division, and he wants the community to know the goal of the marshal’s office is to protect residents.

<p class="indent">Gillard said he spent 14 years working as second-incommand for the marshal’s office before retiring to focus on the campaign. Some of the improvements made during that time included alternative sentencing, educating landlords on proper eviction procedures and the junior deputy program.

<p class="indent">Keller worked for the Lake Charles Police Department for 30 years before retiring in June to focus on the election. He said the Marshal’s Office needs someone who thinks progressively.

<p class="indent">Pousson worked for the CPSO for 18 years under Wayne McElveen before moving to the Calcasieu District Attorney’s Office. He said he is the only candidate with courtroom and law enforcement experience.

<p class="indent">Richard said working for more than 20 years in the Social Security office has prepared him to handle the various situations the marshal’s office encounters regularly.

<p class="indent"><strong class="tag TTL">Topics</strong>

<p class="indent">The candidates agreed that the marshal’s salary is excessive. Alcede’s 2017 report to the Louisiana Board of Ethics showed his office received $442,828. The 2016 report had a salary of $187,607. The increase was largely the result of vehicle repossession fees that went to the Sheriff’s Office instead of the marshal as part of the office’s commissions.

<p class="indent">Several candidates said they supported Alcede’s decision to move the extra money as a supplement to pay deputies.

<p class="indent">The candidates all spoke on the need to educate the public on the duties of the office, including courtroom security, serving warrants, evictions and repossessions. Salvador mentioned visiting churches and civic groups. Harris said he would focus on teaching young people about the office and its responsibilities.

<p class="indent">“Some people don’t know the office exists,” he said.

<p class="indent">Candidates also discussed ways to improve the reserve deputy program. They also supported alternative sentencing programs for those who end up being jailed because they cannot afford fines and court costs.

<p class="indent">One problem with the office, Keller said, is that they aren’t patrolling the streets. He added that the marshal’s office “has been dormant” when it comes to community affairs.

<p class="indent">“Our children need to see that law enforcement is not the enemy,” Keller said.

<em>During a forum Oct. 9, Karl Gillard, a candidate for the Ward 3 City Marshal’s office, spoke of several things he would like to accomplish, if elected. They include alternative sentencing, educating landlords on proper eviction procedures and the junior deputy program.</em>

<em>The American Press incorrectly reported on Oct. 10 that these improvements were already made during the 14 years Gillard worked as second-in-command for the marshal’s office.</em>

<em>Gillard also retired from the Lake Charles Police Department after 30 years.</em>

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