• Sheriff candidates politely flame one another
    Former Sheriff Lonnie Greco and Plaquemines Sheriff Jerry Turlich greet each other on Sept. 24 at PABI’s Candidates Forum. Photo by Zu Carpenter

Sheriff candidates politely flame one another

Plaquemines Sheriff Jerry Turlich and former Sheriff Lonnie Greco collegially and cordially accused each other of being terrible sheriffs Sept. 24 at the Plaquemines Association of Business & Industry’s Candidates Forum.

Turlich, the current sheriff, and Greco, sheriff from 2012-15, both remained poised and respectful as they shoehorned allegations of their opponent’s professional failures into questions about crime, drug enforcement and revenue. Allusions to alleged personal failings were scant, although there were a few, and both candidates kept the debate moving smoothly by avoiding point-by-point rebuttals to their opponent’s accusations.

On crime, Turlich continued to claim that offenses are at an all-time low, with just 504 crimes reported in the parish in 2018. “That’s unheard of,” Turlich told the audience in the Belle Chasse High School auditorium. And Greco continued to claim that Turlich’s numbers are misleading and that the crime rate is actually going up.

Greco said that crime fell during his tenure as sheriff, thanks to an aggressive patrol schedule that provided high visibility for the sheriff’s office, and that Turlich has relaxed patrols to the point that ranking officers are wasting their training monitoring inmates cutting grass along the highways.

“I’m proactive. He’s reactive,” said Greco.



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