Beauregard Parish voters decide their next sheriff on Saturday

Beauregard voters decide next sheriff on Saturday.

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -On Saturday voters in Beauregard Parish will choose their next sheriff.

Candidates John Gott and Mark Herford are both career law enforcement officers in Beauregard Parish. Both graduated from the prestigious FBI national academy and both have been in leadership positions.

Gott was the police chief in DeRidder.

“I managed the entire agency from the budgets to hiring, so all the aspects of running an agency,” he said.

While, Herford was the chief of detectives for the sheriff’s department.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work in every division of the sheriff’s office. I started in the jail then to patrol, detectives, narcotics task force and then in 2003 I was promoted to the chief of detectives,” he said.

Both say they have plans to improve services using existing resources.

“One of the things I’m most excited about and I believe that will deliver immediate results is the idea of establishing manned substations, one on the east one on the west and to rework the one on the south side of the parish,” said Herford.

“The biggest need that I see is to expand our patrol units so we can shorten our response times, so when somebody does need help, we can be out there very quickly,” said Gott.

In the primary, Jim Jacobsen came in third place and was therefore eliminated from the runoff.

Gott says that if he’s elected Jacobsen will be part of the administrative staff and over the criminal division.

“I just believe that because of our ideas that we have and our thinking, the positive changes that we have in mind for Beauregard parish that it would be a great thing if we came together and worked with one another to make sure those things take place,” said Gott.

Herford’s response:

“I believe that I need to be elected before I proceed with the hiring process and there will be a process. There will be an application process, some testing processes and until I’m elected, I’m not prepared to offer anybody a job,” said Herford.

Sheriffs have a 7-month lame duck period in Louisiana, so whoever is elected won't take office until July first of 2020.

In the primary, problems counting early votes caused returns to come in late on election night.

Secretary of State officials say they are confident the problem has been corrected.

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