East Feliciana sheriff-elect names Greg Phares as second in command _lowres

Greg Phares, 66, will join the East Feliciana Sheriff's office as the No. 2 official July 1, 2016

Greg Phares, a former Baton Rouge police chief and former chief investigator for the state Inspector General’s Office, will become the second in command at the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff-elect Jeff Travis said Thursday.

Phares, 66, an East Feliciana Parish native, will begin work as the chief criminal deputy when Travis takes office July 1.

Travis, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, said he chose Phares because his background in policing complements Travis’ training in the corrections field.

“Greg’s experience on the criminal side, on that side of the house, is unquestionable,” Travis said. “It’s a home run for our parish to have such an experienced guy like Greg.”

Phares joined the Baton Rouge Police Department in 1972 and rose to the role of chief, a position he held from 1991 to 2001. For the next two years, he served as a counterterrorism instructor for a private contractor for the U.S. State Department. In 2003, Phares joined the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, overseeing emergency services and the organization’s SWAT team, among other roles.

Phares served as sheriff from 2006 to 2007 after the resignation of Elmer Litchfield, who stepped down because of his failing health. Phares lost the sheriff’s election to Sid Gautreaux in 2007.

Most recently, Phares served as chief investigator at the state Inspector General’s Office from 2008 until this month.

“I look forward to working with Sheriff Travis and getting back to first-line law enforcement,” Phares said.

Travis, who retired from his corrections career last year and most recently served as the Department of Public Safety and Corrections chief of operations, previously served as warden of Rayburn Correctional Center. He started his career at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

Travis defeated four-term incumbent Talmadge Bunch in October with 51 percent of the vote. Travis and Phares said they are thankful for Bunch’s efforts in the 16 years he served.