I had a good visit with Mark Toloso Wednesday. Mark is running against Glenn Benton for the District 2 Police Jury seat.
Because of questions that came up in the comments of his announcement in the blog, I asked Mark specifically about his experience working for the Sheriff and we got into a lot of detail. Some statements were made by commenters that Mark had ‘never really policed or arrested anyone’ and that he was a ‘yes man’. He pointed out that when you work for an elected official who has complete autonomy over his department, and when that official assigns you a task, ‘no’ is not an option.
As to never really policing, when he first came to the Department in 1977 under Vol Dooley, he started out on patrol. He was then assigned to the DEA Task Force working as an undercover narcotics officer for a year, spent a short hitch with detectives and then went to patrol for 8 years working every shift at different times. Obviously, his answer was that he did a lot of policing and made numerous arrests.
In 1984 Mark was certified as a Firearms Instructor & a PR-24 Instructor, in 1985 attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico.
When Larry Deen took office in 1988, he stayed on patrol until 1989 when he became Public Affairs Officer. In 1990 he was certified as a DARE officer and taught DARE in the school system for 10 years. Towards the end of that 10 year period he was assigned to be Director of the Bossier City Substation and was promoted to the rank of Captain.
As to charges that he ‘never supervised anyone’, he pointed out that in 2001 he was assigned to Corrections as Assistant Warden at the Minimum Security prison, and a year later was promoted to Warden.
As to lawsuits against the Sheriff’s office naming him, he pointed out that the Warden of any facility is subject to being sued for any number of reasons. He also stated that most of the lawsuits resulted from simply following DOC policy.
Mark works a few days a month as a bailiff at the courthouse since retirement.
Now to the to the subject at hand, his run for Police Jury. Mark believes that he can give the people of District 2 better representation, and vows to be accessible at all times.
"I have talked to a number of people who believe that when people are elected, they just fall into line with the ‘powers that be’. I promise to always vote for the people of my district, and to state my intentions and then follow through on them. Part of the problem is that too much money has been available to the Police Jury, and if the money is there, they will spend it. It’s time to economize."