SHREVEPORT / CADDO: WHO IS IN CHARGE WHEN / IF NECESSARY?
Monday, March 16, 2020 … 4:300 P.M.
Last week, many if not most of us realized the coronavirus “scare” had become something worse, suddenly sucking the air out of our place, including rooms of our national, state and local government.
As is our practice, many of us looked to such memorable shocks as the September 29, 2008, stock market crash, the catastrophe of “9/11” 2001, and the stock market crash of October 22, 1987 to comparatively measure this latest hit.
Clearly, stock market collapses are only one indicator of such scares, but the one in 1987 continues to stand out: on that single trading day, the market lost nearly a quarter – 22.6% – of its value.
Today’s collapse of -2,997 points on the Dow Industrial Average was a “mere” 12.93% hammering.
Lest anyone misunderstand me, I well know and understand that the loss of just under 2,800 lives on 9/11 was incomparable … easily the most costly of any such American event this side of war.
Of the many lessons I have learned in such dangerous times, none is more important than this: we must never assume that all public officials can be trusted to hold the reins of power with the required care.
Now, virtually beyond belief, many enemies of our nation live here with and among us, some prominently.
Of course, when anyone works against our nation, openly, from within, it is treasonous.
As we are learning in greater detail with each passing day and month and year, more and more public officials are too power-hungry – mentally unstable – to trust.
(I believe one example is the mayor of New York City … “governing” beyond the strictures of law.)
In our Shreveport / Caddo Parish neck of the Louisiana and American woods, there need be no confusion …
… the go-to public official in any local emergency is Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator. (No, I have in no way communicated with the sheriff about this article … nor would I ever do so.)
Louisiana sheriffs are distinctly specified in our Louisiana Constitution as holders of that power. As our Louisiana House of Representatives expresses it …
… “Separate and apart from local offices which are part of the varying forms of local government, the Louisiana Constitution provides for the parish offices of sheriff, coroner, assessor, clerk of the district court, registrar of voters, and school board members. … The sheriff in all parishes is the chief law enforcement officer in the parish and has both criminal and civil jurisdiction. The sheriff is in charge of all criminal investigations and is responsible for executing court orders and process and is the keeper of the public jail in the parish.”
In addition to this incredibly powerful position, Sheriff Prator is in his sixth year as Director of the Caddo Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
In fact, Caddo sheriffs have complete authority over all mayors in Caddo’s incorporated towns … Shreveport, Vivian, Greenwood, and the several others.
Too, no matter that the Caddo Parish Commission is our parish’s legislative body / authority, the sheriff does not answer to the Commission or its President.
No matter that some politicians here may be confused about or ignorant of these facts, there is no such confusion about the law.
© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED