Inauguration Speech: (June 28, 2012)
We are honored Judge Chutz that you accepted our request of being sworn in by you. Thank you.
And I want to thank all of you sharing in this occasion …..dignitaries, long time friends, leaders of the community, leaders of law enforcement and fellow employees.
I would be remiss, if I did not thank my wonderful wife and fine family for their patience, support and loyalty.
Before I begin, I want to ask you for a few minutes of your patience while I say something that is on my heart: I want to thank the people of my parish who gave me the opportunity to continue serving as Sheriff. I shall always owe a lot to those who gave me this opportunity, And I shall forever remember election day morning, praying and asking God's blessing. And then, election night as I waited ... and suddenly when the final votes were counted and I received almost 70 percent of the votes, I was shocked and grateful at the same time.
I hope you'll forgive me these few moments of remembering ... but I wanted everyone to know, that I shall never forget.
I wish I could shake hands and thank all of you in this parish who voted for me . . and those of you who did not . . for I know you voted your honest convictions . . . and now, we must stand together and continue down the road to a better and safer tomorrow.
This is the day of my Inauguration as Sheriff of the Parish of St. Helena. And on this day I feel a deep obligation to renew my pledges, my covenants with you . . . the people of this great parish. I ran for this office again because I believe in justice and the people of St. Helena Parish.
When I was originally given this responsibility, I took the opportunity to make necessary changes. Difficult decisions have been made and challenges have been met that have put us on a confident course for a brighter future.
We have done well and I wish to express my appreciation to my chiefs, department heads as well as all deputies who perform their tasks with professionalism which makes a positive daily difference in the life of our community. I know your jobs, your challenges and your great responsibility to protect and serve. Over the next four years, we will remain focused on ensuring that St. Helena Parish is a safe place to work, live and raise our children.
Law enforcement is always at the forefront of our efforts and our commitment to public safety, and to ensure our services are administered at the hightest level. We will continue to work well with our local assistant District Attorney. The quality of law enforcement that we offer in St. Helena Parish should be someday be an example to other communities. We must also continue to be a parish that strives to provide an environment in which families can believe in their local sheriff's office and in one another.
In the past few years we laid a foundation for the four that lay ahead. We hope that it will be a time of excitement and pride and a time of continued commitment to determination for the common good. Law enforcement in that way will continue to strengthen our community.
I am honored to serve as your Sheriff. For me, this job is an emotional one, emotional in that I care deeply as you do about our community. I will lead the Sheriff’s Department the only way I know how, and that will be by example and I will serve the public honestly and honorably.
May God continue to bless each and every one of you, the parish of St. Helena, the State of Louisiana and the United States of America — Thank You.