Director ready to prepare parish

Published 12:07 am Thursday, February 5, 2015

By Sarah Cook

VIDALIA — It may be Payne Scott’s first time serving as the Concordia Parish director of homeland security and preparedness, but it’s not his first time protecting the area’s residents.

“Accepting this position is like coming home,” said Scott, who served as Concordia Parish deputy sheriff from 1973 to 1976.

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Scott has also worked as a Louisiana State Trooper in Baton Rouge and a Louisiana Lottery Corp. senior investigator.

Appointed by the Concordia Police Jury, Scott said his goal as director of homeland security and preparedness is simple: “to keep the residents of Concordia Parish safe.

“On a small scale or grand scale, I plan on making sure this area is prepared for any disaster,” Scott said. “I’ve been with law enforcement for 42 years, and my job is to take care of folks.”

Updating the parish’s preparedness plan is at the top of Scott’s agenda, along with looking at his predecessors’ goals.

“From my understanding, our preparedness plan is in need of reworking because things have changed since it was originally put together,” he said. “I plan on looking at what applies now and what no longer applies.”

Scott said maintaining a strong relationship with area first responders will also be key to staying prepared for natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.

Concordia Parish Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said he’s confident in Scott’s ability to serve Concordia Parish.

“He is well qualified for the job and I think we are very fortunate to have found someone of his caliber,” Ferrington said. “I’m pleased to have him on board with us.”

Scott is currently a captain with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office. He will assume the directorial position Friday, replacing Charles “Junior” Tarver, who recently resigned from the position.

“My main goal is staying prepared,” Scott said. “We have to be prepared to respond to whatever disaster there is, large or small.”