Parish leaders must solve LACE problem

Published 12:03 am Saturday, September 24, 2016

St. John the Baptist Parish’s LACE (Local Agency Compensation Enforcement) program funds, in great percentage, many facets of the parish court system.

The District Attorney’s office contracts with Louisiana State Police and the St. John Sheriff’s Office to fund extra patrols that focus on traffic violators.

Citations and fees paid by motorists in the wrong are funneled to various elements of the court system so they operate at the professional level necessary for residents of St. John Parish.

Although it is irrational that so much of the court system would place its budgetary future in the hands of traffic violators, the fact remains the residents of this parish rely on this system for a fully functional judicial structure.

In separate interviews, the District Attorney criticized the Sheriff for suspending the program without notice and the Sheriff criticized the District Attorney for taking the complaint to the media without first bringing the concern to the Sheriff’s Office.

Those are now moot points.

St. John the Baptist Parish elected leaders, from the D.A.’s office to law enforcement and with the help the Clerk of Court and local Judges, must come together for common ground on LACE and judicial service. Continued friction threatens our Parish.