Down in Southern Louisiana, 30 minutes from New Orleans, in the parish of St. John the Baptist, Mike Tregre is campaigning to become the parishes first African American Sheriff. It is sure to be a hot race as most of the challengers in the race, including Tregre, once worked for the incumbent Sheriff, Wayne Jones. Tregre campaigns to become the parish’s first “high sheriff” of color.
The four term incumbent, has recently been under scrutiny for the mismanagement of the Sheriff’s Department. Fox 8 Live of New Orleans Chief Investigative Reporter Lee Zurik recently provided stories of two problems facing the St. John’s Sheriff Office: Justice for Teresa and Sheriff Pays Career Criminal $100k. Additionally, under Sheriff Jones’ leadership 4 officers have been jailed for crimes ranging from felony theft, taking contraband into parish prisons and indecent behavior with juveniles.
Despite the cloud over St. John Sheriff’s office, the incumbent Wayne Jones remains popular. He was elected to four terms running as a Democratic candidate. He is now running as a Republican. The parish is over 60% African American and majority Democrat.
In 1988 Tregre began working for the St. John Sheriff’s office. A proven lawman, Tregre worked his way up from a patrolman, an undercover narcotics officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant and to Public Information Officer– a coveted position. Tregre left the department to take a job as the St. John Parish Public Safety Director where he recently resigned in order to run for Sheriff.
“As a former member of the Sheriff Department, my plan during this campaign season is not simply to critique and identify the problems with the current administrative practices, but use my 23 years of experience to offer well thought out ideas and solutions to those problems in order to make St. John Parish, once again, a safe place to work, live and raise a family,” said Tregre in a statement.