The following answers were provided by Randy Smith (Incumbent) running for Sheriff in St. Tammany Parish:

1. Describe your prior law enforcement experience and any other experience you have relevant to this position.

I have 33 years of law enforcement experience.

2. What are the most important challenges facing St. Tammany Parish, e.g. substance abuse, mental health needs, poverty, etc.?  How do you propose to address them?

One of main challenges facing St. Tammany Parish is mental health issues.  I created a Crisis Intervention Team (C.I.T.), which provides assistance to those suffering with mental health needs.  This allows them to obtain much needed help and avoid arrest.  All Deputies are now trained in Mental Health First Aid.

3. What kind of policies, if any, will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our community?

This agency follows all U.S. Department of Justice guidelines and the laws of the Constitution.  All of our Deputies are trained on our policy and procedures, including Use of Force, Search and Seizure, Civil Rights and Cultural Diversity.

4. How will you ensure that inmates’ access to medical and mental health care is adequate and timely?

Every inmate is now screened within three hours of arrest at the St. Tammany Parish jail.  They are screened for medical as well as mental health history.  We have trained medical staff and a psychiatrist onsite at the jail.  

5. Before trial and conviction, people held in jail are eligible to vote. If elected, what steps will you take to ensure that pretrial detainees are aware of this right and to assist them in registering or voting while detained?

…..Inmates are provided the information and allowed to vote by mail

6. Please describe any changes, innovations or “best practices” you are considering implementing in St. Tammany Parish that could reduce the jail population, improve re-entry services, reduce recidivism? What are your plans to develop police-community partnerships?

We recently signed a 2.9 million dollar contract with the Louisiana Department of Corrections to provide re-entry programs to non-violent offenders, for the next three years.  They have the ability to be trained to go back into society and hopefully not re-offend. This program is working and is reducing inmate population.  Community trust and community outreach is very important for any agency to be successful.