Hedrick to defend sheriff title

Published 12:05 am Monday, June 8, 2015

VIDALIA — At least two men, including the incumbent sheriff, plan to seek Concordia Parish’s highest law enforcement office.

As fall election day approaches, Concordia Parish Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick said he would defend his title as head officer in the parish.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Hedrick said. “I love being sheriff and I love being able to come to work everyday.”

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Hedrick was elected sheriff of Concordia Parish in 2011, when he received 51.8 percent of the vote — 3, 484 votes — over Charles “Junior” Tarver with 26.14 percent and Robert “Rock” Davis at 22.06 percent of the vote.

“As sheriff, I get the opportunity to do what I love — helping people,” Hedrick said.

If reelected, Hedrick said he hopes to increase street and neighborhood patrols — a practice he said has already been taking place.

“We beefed up several departments, including criminal control and drug arrests,” Hedrick said.

Hedrick said more than 700 drug related arrests have been made since the beginning of his term.

“I’m just doing the job I’m supposed to do as sheriff,” Hedrick said.

Hedrick has been in law enforcement for 45 years.

“It’s probably the most rewarding job I’ve ever had,” Hedrick said. “I like meeting an greeting people. That’s probably one of my favorite things about this job.”

Hedrick said he plans to be in contact with as many individuals as possible during his campaign.

Former Concordia Parish Sheriff’s deputy Payne Scott has already thrown his name in to challenge Hedrick for the title of sheriff.

Scott is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received a bachelor of science degree.

Scott said he felt the need to pursue law enforcement as a way to protect the citizens of Louisiana.

“The one thing I’m trying to do, if elected, is to fix the narcotics problem and add more patrol cars in the neighborhoods,” he said.

Scott, who has 41 years of experience in law enforcement, said he is relying on his experience in narcotics enforcement to keep drugs off the streets. A trooper with the Louisiana State Police for 22 years, Scott spent some of his time as a narcotic agent.

“I want to see good people feel secure in their homes and on the highways,” Scott said. “I think that’s a privilege they deserve.”

Tarver, who is the former parish Homeland Security director, said he does not look to enter the race this go-around.

“I’m just ready to get out of it all,” Tarver said. “I’m trying to enjoy the rest of my life by doing a little hunting and fishing.”

Vidalia Police Assistant Chief Bruce Wiley was a rumored candidate for the position earlier this year, but said he has decided to skip this election.

“We had a family emergency that we had to tend to,” Wiley said. “I will wait until the next term and see how it goes.”

Glen Lipsey, who ran in 2003 and 2007, said he was not running for sheriff.

He lost by 22 votes in 2007 and challenged the results in court, though the challenge was eventually decided in former Sheriff Randy Maxwell’s favor.

The primary election will be on Oct. 24 and the general election will be on Nov. 21.

Qualifying for the election will be Sept. 8 to 10.