The fall election for Bossier City Marshal appears to have drawn only two contenders to date – and Bossier Deputy Marshal Jim Whitman and Shreveport Deputy Marshal Carl Richard have been making the rounds and building their support for the November 4 election.
The race will be a second attempt for Richard who came in second on the ballot that elected Lynn Austin to City Marshal.
Today, Richard shares his experience and plans for Bossier’s Marshal’s office. Whitman will detail his experience and plans in the next week or two.
Richard, who has worked in Marshal’s offices for 22 years, started that career in the Bossier City Marshal’s office in 1992. He left Bossier in 1996 and has served as a deputy Shreveport City Marshal since 1997.
In the Shreveport City Marshal’s office, Richard handles all seizures and repossessions, fleet management, is the purchasing agent for the office, and handles communications, the budget and inventory. He said that he’s familiar with every aspect of the Bossier City Marshal’s office as well, including the work of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) taskforce, of which the Marshal’s office is member.
Richard said that he wants everyone in Bossier City to know what the chief duties of the office are: court security and serving legal papers.
As it concerns court security, and along with security cameras and metal detectors, he discussed the advantage of having highly trained deputies in the courtroom. Richard said he would favor sending court security deputies to the US Marshal’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia for training. And he noted that former City Marshal Johnny Wyatt sent him to the training center when he worked for the Bossier Marshal’s office.
In addition, Richard would also send deputies to the US Marshal’s course for fugitive investigators that would increase training for serving high risk warrants and fugitive apprehension.
“To me, every warrant is high risk; you don’t know what’s on the other side of that door,” said Richard, noting that a number of law enforcement officers have been hurt or killed serving warrants.
Richard plans a dedicated full-time two-man warrant team to execute bench warrants issued by the City Court. He said there are over 15,000 outstanding warrants from the City Court. Richard would also like to create a joint task force between the Shreveport and Bossier City Marshal’s office to serve warrants on either side of the river.
And he’d maintain the ICAC presence in the Bossier Marshal’s office: “I think it’s very valuable and I would keep it – forever. I have children and I want to protect children … I would keep the deputies (presently) there in charge of it. You can’t find experience like that.”
Finally, Richard said he’d like to “do more with less” by using the office’s discretionary fund to save tax payer dollars. Richard explained that the Marshal’s office has a discretionary fund which is fueled by fees paid for traffic tickets and criminal charges. He would use those funds for law enforcement items such as cell phones and vehicles, as well as for overtime pay and other salaries.
“If I off-set the budget by $50,000 – $60,000 a year, I think it would be a service to taxpayers in Bossier.”
Richard is married, has three children, and lives in north Bossier City. He’s a member of the Simple Church and serves on the board of the Louisiana City Marshal’s Association and Bossier Little League. He was awarded this year’s Deputy Constable/Marshal of the Year Award by the National Constables and Marshals Association.
Marty Carlson is a columnist for the Bossier Press-Tribune. She may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org