Sheriff Mancuso announces retirement after 20 years as sheriff

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:24 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2023 at 7:09 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Sheriff Tony Mancuso said he is retiring after 20 years as sheriff of Calcasieu Parish.

Surrounded by his family, many of his sheriff’s office staff and other law enforcement, Mancuso announced his planned retirement at a news conference Wednesday morning.

The five-term sheriff was elected in October 2003 and was re-elected in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019.

“I’m tired, I don’t have that energy I had before, I don’t have that drive I had before,” Mancuso said. “Somebody told me, ‘You’ll know when it’s time,’ and I know it’s time.”

Mancuso spent nearly 40 years working in law enforcement. He began his career as a deputy for CPSO in 1984.

He was elected Ward 3 City Marshal about 12 years later, then in 2004 he took on the role as sheriff.

“I love this job. it’s been my whole life,” Mancuso said. “I’ve had the best and the worst times of my life at this office. I’ve grown up here.”

Following the announcement, he sat down with 7News and said he’s ready to not have to go to bed at night worrying about the safety of his team and his community.

“I want to go to bed at night and worry about what most normal people about, ‘are the kids okay?’ I just want to live a normal life again,” he said.

Mancuso went on to explain that he wants to enjoy life and spend more time with his family.

We asked what made him want to make the announcement today. He said he wanted to have the chance to do things his way and be able to do things on his own terms.

“I don’t have any regrets,” Mancuso said. “I don’t want anybody to think I’m bitter because I had an unbelievable career. When I tell you I’m leaving very happy and you asked me the question to get to this answer of ‘Why today,’ because cause I wanted to. Just something I wanted to do.”

However, there’s still one thing he hopes to do before his term is up.

“I want to catch Joe Constance,” he said. “That would be the only unfinished business that I haven’t done.”

Mancuso told 7News if he’s remembered for anything during his time spent in office, he said he just hopes people remember him as being fair.

“I’ve done everything I can,” Mancuso said. “I’ve done and given the most I can give and the best I can give. And I really mean that from the bottom of my heart.”

The regular sheriff’s election is in the fall of 2023. Mancuso will remain sheriff until the end of June 2024.

Mancuso said he will endorse Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory if Guillory decides to run.

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