The statute says that within the city he has the same powers and authority of a sheriff. Until 1949, the Bossier City Marshal policed the city. In most municipalities, the marshal simply serves the court and acts to coordinate the activities of the court and the police department, for example by transporting prisoners to court.
If I remember correctly, when Jimmy Dove first ran for marshal in Shreveport, he had a challenger who wanted to do bascially what Johnny Wyatt had done in Bossier by having uniformed deputies and cars that are fully marked and equipped with all of the police paraphernalia.
Johnny Wyatt expanded the scope of the office to include actual policing duties, such as heading up the internet predator task force and establishing a computer forensics lab.
Some believe that these duties best belong with the police department.
This is how the law defines it. I think it may be a good thing for the candidates to fully address it, not just in the sense of 'continuing' what Johnny Wyatt did, but in explaining to the people how this is not simply duplicating what the police department already does.
§1881. General powers and duties of marshal; deputy marshals
- A. The marshal is the executive officer of the court; he shall execute the orders and mandates of the court and in the execution thereof, and in making arrests and preserving the peace, he has the same powers and authority of a sheriff.
- B. The marshal may appoint one or more deputy marshals having the same powers and authority as the marshal, but the marshal shall be responsible for their actions. The compensation of the deputy marshals shall be fixed and paid by the governing authorities of the city or parish, or both, where the court is located. The city marshal may use funds available for expenses of his office, including proceeds from costs assessed in criminal matters pursuant to R.S. 13:1899, to pay an amount in excess of the fixed salary or to pay the amount fixed or any portion thereof to deputy marshals or to employ additional deputies. However, nothing herein shall authorize the city marshal to fix or supplement his own salary. In no event shall the salary of any deputy exceed that of his city marshal. Acts 1960, No. 32, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1961; Acts 1983, No. 248, §1; Acts 1986, No. 168, §1; Acts 1993, No. 629, §1.