Friday, June 18, 2010

Bossier Sheriff needs to re-think his attitude toward his constituents

By law, Sheriff Larry Deen had to hold a hearing on his announced increase in property taxes. Rather than providing a decent space and amount of time for the hearing, the sheriff crammed the people who attended into an office and then put an arbitrary time limit on the meeting.
The sheriff apparently had no interest in hearing the citizens and showed total disdain for them when he told the people at the meeting that ‘state law’ required that he could only give 15 minutes to public comments.
Either the sheriff doesn’t know the law, which is a scary prospect, or he was being disingenuous with his constituents.
Or perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps state law does say that. If someone with the sheriff’s office will send me a copy of the law, I will be glad to retract that and publish an apology to the sheriff.
In the meantime, we will address the sheriff’s bad performance as we see it.
Citizens have a right to speak out. That’s what a ‘hearing’ is for, hence the name. According to Drew Pierson in The Times, the sheriff's budget has more than doubled in the past six years, going from $15.6 million in 2004 to $35.5 million in 2009. That’s a hefty increase. The budget of the entire parish is $45 million. If the sheriff needs another million or so, he needs to get specific as to where a potential shortfall lies and why. I don’t understand why, if it is a legitimate need, the sheriff didn’t open up and explain it to the people.
I also don’t understand why the sheriff didn’t use a larger space, such as the police jury room, to hold the meeting. This ‘them and us’ attitude doesn’t serve the sheriff well at all, and creates division where there really wasn’t any. The group that did gather was not a bunch of malcontents, but citizens who are genuinely concerned.
Matt Sciba of the Shreveport-Bossier Tea Party said it best. “"The integrity of the sheriff's department is not hinged on this tax. If the millage is not raised, that professionalism will not disappear."
Overall, I believe the sheriff has done a good job. That makes it harder to understand his actions. He would serve himself well to listen to the citizens of Bossier Parish – all of them, not just the ones who tell him what he wants to hear. They are not his enemies.

5 comments:

  1. That's exactly the problem, too many yes men and not one to tell him if he's out of line.

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  2. Larry thinks that he is king. He has a lot of lap dogs who do whatever he wants them to without question but if a deputy stops or gives a ticket to one of Larry's buddies that deputy will find himself on mids at the jail. What about that for a boss.

    Do not forget how he acted when he was stopped in Texas a few years ago. Like a complete fool.


    Having said that, I believe that he will select one of his lapdogs to be the next sheriff and will make sure that that person is elected. This will be Larry's puppett who will do anything Larry asks.

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  3. I guess i am really surprised at his arrogance - he really believes he is untouchable - well - as you know - pride comes before the fall - just incredible you would put a lawyer out there to say that state law requires 15 minutes knowing there is no such law - just incredible

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  4. Observant in Bossier ParishJune 18, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Can anyone say why Deen felt that the tax increase was necessary? Does he have a budget short-fall? Is there some specific thing that the parish or sheriff department was in need of that required a tax increase? How much is the increase? While he does apparently have the authority to raise taxes, doesn't he also have an obligation to present a reason for the tax? i.e. Taxation with representation?...Did another retiree from the S.O. need a new car to drive with free gas? Did his secretary who makes twice as much as most deputies need a new take-home suburban in case of a "secretarial emergency". Did he need extra deputies so he could pull detectives away from their work to chase down one of his buddies' tractors instead of investigating more urgent cases? Did he need to give another one of his buddies a promotion where they would supervise nothing and no one?
    The citizens of Bossier Parish have been drinking the Larry Deen Kool-aid for far too long. Deen lords over a system where our deputies are told to look the other way for his buddies and threatened with losing their jobs when they actually do their jobs. Larry Deen is not in the law enforcement business, he is a polititian whose sole purpose is glorifying himself. The citizens of Bossier Parish need to look very closely at who runs in the next sheriff's election and hire someone in the law enforcement business. It has been rumored that Deen plans to retire during his term and pull his strings to appoint his replacement. That replacement would then have the good-luck of being an incumbent come election-time. Hence, no real end to the good ol'boy, Larry Deen-reign. Deen needs to be looked at more closely by the citizens.

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  5. There are many reasons that the crime rate in Bossier parish is different than the crime rate in Caddo parish.Shut up and let the sheriff do a good job!!!!!

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