Three vying for Concordia sheriff’s office

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s race is one with two candidates of long-time law enforcement experience and one community member who says he is ready to turn the office &uot;back over to the people.&uot;

All three candidates agreed on one important thing &045; the main crime problem in the parish is drugs. All three, however, had varying answers on how to curb the problem.

Glenn Lipsey

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Glenn Lipsey, a former Louisiana State Trooper and Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, touts 14 years law enforcement experience. Not only that, but he also owns and operates a ranch.

&uot;I’m a Christian man of morals and principle, and I’ll run the office with honesty, fairness and integrity. I will provide equal enforcement for all citizens and restore public confidence in the Sheriff’s Department,&uot; Lipsey said. &uot;I’m a person of strong family values and I want to make Concordia a safe place to raise a family.&uot;

Lipsey said his main focus will be on drugs, the main crime problem he sees in the parish.

Because drug problems result in numerous other crimes such as thefts, burglaries and violent crimes, according to Lipsey, he wants to combat the drug problem by increasing the number of narcotics agents, seeking help from other local, state and federal agencies and increasing the presence of school resource officers.

&uot;I want to also implement programs to help the youth of the parish, the underprivileged youth, to give them an alternative and other activities for them to do,&uot; Lipsey said.

Randy Maxwell

Current Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell is running on his experience, 13 years as sheriff and 32 years of law enforcement experience.

&uot;I’ve got 32 years of experience in law enforcement and business,&uot; Maxwell said. &uot;The business of this operation is a lot larger than the law enforcement.&uot;

Maxwell said he is mature enough and old enough to handle the job and is very involved in the community.

&uot;In this office, we have made a tremendous difference in Concordia Parish,&uot; he said.

For the most part, Maxwell said he wants to just continue what he has been doing with the office, continuing to use integrity to run the office and managing the people’s money property.

But Maxwell said he wants to continue the outreach to the community, to get them &uot;more involved in addressing the problems we have here (in the parish).&uot;

Maxwell said the main crime problem in the parish is the drug problem &uot;because it affects all crime.&uot; He said about 80 percent of the crime the sheriff’s department handles is drug-related.

He said there are three ways to fight the problem &045; education, enforcement and treatment.

There are no changes in his plan of action, just a continuum of what the department has been doing.

Maxwell said he plans to continue education through the D.A.R.E. program. The narcotics task force is instrumental in enforcement, having taken 600 cases in distribution and broken up about 13 methamphetamine labs.

&uot;We work very actively in enforcement area,&uot; he said.

The treatment program at the corrections facility relies on six fulltime counselors.

&uot;It is a program we’re very proud of,&uot; Maxwell said.

Jim Whittington

Jim Whittington said, if elected sheriff, he plans to run the office for the people because they are who really own the sheriff’s office.

&uot;I feel like I am a candidate because I am someone that will help the people,&uot; Whittington said. &uot;The people in this parish don’t elect a sheriff by as much expeerience as one that will be there for the people of this parish.&uot;

Some of Whittington’s main objectives are to reduce the tax burden on the people of the parish and help the elderly of the community.

Whittington also said he is going to &uot;bring job and industry in this parish,&uot; although he offered no answers of how he would do that.

Whittington also said drugs is the main crime problem the parish faces

&uot;I’m going to do a real war on drugs,&uot; Whittington said. &uot;The D.A.R.E. solution is not working. I’m going to work to get drugs out of this parish.&uot;

Solutions Whittington proposes for cleaning up the drug problem is more trained law enforcement to work in narcotics and to put deputies in the school system to look after the students.