Posted: Oct 14, 2011 4:32 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Oct 14, 2011 6:57 PM
The Lafayette Parish voters will pick a sheriff October 22nd. The current sheriff, Mike Neustrom, has served as sheriff for 12 years. He said his work is just getting started.
He said, "we kind of feel like it's half time in a game, where you are not completely there yet but you've had a good beginning and we are moving in the right direction."
Neustrom's opponent, Rick Chargois, said it's time for a change.
"We have huge amounts of drug problems we have violence rising in our streets," he said. "We need to take control of that."
Neustrom said, "everyone has their problems, but I think we have fewer of those big problems and we are working together to solve some of those problems."
A major issue in Lafayette Parish is not having enough bed space in the jails to house all the criminals. Both candidates have very different views on how to tackle this growing problem.
"We purchased property on Willow Street and we think that gives us growing room to build a new facility," Neustrom said.
Chargois said, "I don't think we need to spend a huge amount of money building on another facility. I think we need to control the facility we have. "
One thing both candidates agree on is Lafayette Parish's constant growth brings more problems, but both Neustrom and Chargois feel confident they can handle whatever the future holds.