July 03, 2018  |  12:22 pm

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith’s conservative planning and foresight allows for the completion of a balanced budget in the wake of revenue shortages.

When Sheriff Smith took office in 2016 he inherited a department that employed in excess of 750 people.  Today, the leaner and more focused agency employs just over 640 full-time employees.  In anticipation of the voters’ decision to pay less in taxes for some government services, Sheriff Smith began enacting cost-saving measures through agency-wide cuts in July 2017. 

Sheriff Smith has taken great care in preserving the enforcement aspect of the organization, and continues to make sure public safety is a top priority.  He and his staff continue to evaluate capital expenditures and operating funds. 

The STPSO prepared accordingly for budget shortfalls while ensuring jail operations would not be hindered and a balanced budget could be completed.

For fiscal year 2019, which began on July 1st, a balanced budget has been delivered. Within the 2019 fiscal budget, there is a provision that will afford all employees a 3.75% merit and cost of living raise, unlike fiscal year 2018 when budget cuts would not permit such increases.

“It is an ongoing process to evaluate and run this Office to achieve maximum efficiency,” said Sheriff Randy Smith. “The safety of our citizens remains my number one priority.  I’m extremely proud of the men and women who make up this agency, and I’m pleased to announce that we’ve worked hard to recover and work through budget shortfalls that in the past would not afford me the ability to provide well-deserved raises for my dedicated staff.”