NAPOLEONVILLE — Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said that during his tenure, he has upgraded radio communications, added three new substations, created community outreach programs and combated the illegal drug trade.
He said in a campaign announcement that he plans an 80-bed addition to the Assumption Parish Detention Center and another new substation in Belle Rose, along with substations added in Bayou L’Ourse, Labadieville and Pierre Part.
The sheriff, who was elected in 1999 and has been in office since 2000, is seeking a fourth four-year term in the Oct. 22 primary election.
“It is an honor to serve you as sheriff, and if re-elected, I will continue the great progress we have made in our constant efforts to keep the parish safe,” Waguespack said in the announcement.
Farrell Gros and Ray Nicholas are challenging Waguespack. All three are Democrats, and they qualified this month for the election.
In the statement, Waguespack noted he has increased deputies’ base salary by 34 percent, overseen an 83 percent increase in the number of full-time, certified deputies on duty and, in a first for Assumption, had two captains graduate from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
The sheriff said his office is making a record number of drug arrests, citing the “Get a Real Job” operation in January that led to the arrests of 64 people accused of illegal drug distribution.
“Our narcotics task force continues to aggressively pursue those responsible for the illegal drug trade,” Waguespack said.
He also noted his ability to work with other governmental bodies in finding funds enabling the Sheriff’s Office to make improvements while avoiding local tax increases to pay for the upgrades.
Waguespack and the parish Police Jury, for example, found $1.7 million in federal funding to pay for the proposed jail addition, he said.
Waguespack also improved radio communications, including installing a new radio tower and obtaining $400,000 in state-funded equipment acquired with two state agencies’ help.