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Abita mayor responds to sheriff on police protection for town

Abita mayor responds to sheriff on police protection for town
Posted: Jul 19, 2019
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Abita Springs Mayor Daniel J. Curtis releases statement following decision to end agreement with STPSO:

The press release issued by Sheriff Randy Smith on July 16, 2019 has created a public controversy between his office and the Town of Abita Springs. This was unnecessary and unfortunate. The issue involves the Town’s decision to exercise its option to cancel the lucrative existing $300,000.00 additional services contract with the Sheriff’s Office.

Media accounts have focused on who said what between the parties. The Town of Abita Springs prefers a calmer, more deliberate approach to the matter. Cancellation of the contract with the Sherriff’s Office means that the Town will receive the identical level of law enforcement services as currently received in the unincorporated sections of the parish. That is over 75% of the parish population and includes some of St. Tammany’s largest subdivisions.

The Town must determine if a replacement agreement would provide services justifying increases beyond the quarter of a million dollars paid in property taxes by Abita Springs
taxpayers to the Sheriff. To date the Sheriff has not made a convincing argument to the Town to buy what he is selling.
The Sheriff’s actions give the impression that he is presently getting a good deal that he doesn’t want to lose.

The Town of Abita Springs will continue to deliberate on the level of law enforcement service that is required and the best place from which to secure it. Fear of controversy will not deter the administration from providing the leadership necessary to confront the present situation and preserve and maintain the peace and safety of the residents of Abita Springs.


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