Early Voting starts September 28th! Election Day is October 12th!
“Why Would You Vote For Me?”
As I pondered this thought while thinking from the perspective of a voter, I arrived at the following:
- I, Eric Hatfield was born and raised in Caddo Parish and my parents were born and raised here as well. My family continues to reside in Caddo Parish.
- I attended school here and continue to attend church here.
- I do NOT drink alcohol but I am NOT against drinking alcohol. I mention this because, as your Constable now and as your future Sheriff I am likely to be called at any given time during the day or night as emergency situations cannot be planned. I will always be ready with a clear head and a clear conscience.
- I own businesses in Caddo Parish as well as several properties in Caddo Parish. Therefore, I will NOT be an advocate for raising our property taxes.
- I purchase my vehicles, equipment, clothes, food, medicine, etc., in Caddo Parish and I will encourage others to do business locally.
- I have devoted the past (20) years to our community in Caddo Parish as a CASA (court-appointed special advocate for children), a deputy Constable, and a 2-term elected Caddo Parish Constable. (CASA is a volunteer organization and the Constable receives $300/month.)
- I will be the first “VISIBLE” Sheriff in the past few decades. You will see me in your neighborhoods, schools, churches, and your workplace.
- I will be the first “ACCESSIBLE” Sheriff in the past few decades. The deputies as well as the citizens will have access to your Sheriff. I will be your EMPLOYEE.
- I will be a “reasonable” Sheriff. Every “crime” shouldn’t equal “time.” I will put the greater emphasis on violent crimes, crimes against children, crimes against the elderly, and less emphasis on non-violent first-offense victimless crimes.
- I will promote “community-oriented” policing. I will encourage deputies to get to know our neighbors in Caddo Parish on a “first-name basis.”
- I will be the first Sheriff in decades to work in unison with the District Attorney as well as all other local, state, and federal agencies.
- I believe in and will demand EQUAL access to law enforcement and I will promote EQUAL JUSTICE FOR ALL.
- I will implement the very 1st “Fair Sheriff Program.” Local minorities and small business owners will be able to “bid” and perform the services at CCC and within other departments of the Caddo Sheriff’s Office. We will immediately be seeking new auctioneers and a new auction facility.
- I will NOT promote a “for profit” jail.
- I will demand TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY within the Sheriff’s office.
- I will NOT allow you or your family to be “hunted” by stalkers, bullies, or any other perpetrators. I will NOT allow you or your family to be “haunted” by your previous transgressions. In other words and for the sake of clarity, as your Sheriff I will NOT hold your past transgressions in a treasure chest to be held against you if we disagree.
- I will NOT promote or condone “trickery.” In other words, if you are suspected of a crime we will advise you of that at first encounter.
- I will promote and maintain an equal balance of minorities and females within the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.
- I will promote and encourage deputies to follow their dreams by continuing their education while employed at CSO.
- I will immediately assess the CSO budget and seek sources of revenue that will lead to an increase in pay for deputies.
- I will NOT sell badges and law enforcement commissions. This is NOT legal and should cease immediately.
- I will create a citizen oversight committee as it relates to the jail.
- I will NOT force inmates to sleep on the floor at CCC.
- I will immediately take action to obtain bids from local minorities and small businesses to provide privacy partitions for each toilet in CCC. Your dignity and privacy is important to me.
- I will restore humanity and dignity within CCC.
- I will immediately re-instate “face to face” physical visits in CCC. These inmates should be allowed to interact with their children and family members.
- I will encourage our deputies to promote kindness and compassion as they serve and protect you.
- As your Sheriff and a father, I will work hard to protect our children through community youth programs. Safety Town will be accessible to all youth.
- As your Sheriff, I will NOT do business with any person or entity that uses that business or its proceeds to threaten, stalk,harass, bully, or defame any person or family.
- Last but certainly not least, I am the only candidate that is an “open book.” NONE OF MY RECORDS ARE SEALED. NO Sheriff or elected official should have his or her records sealed from the citizens that he or she serves.
In closing, those of you who have known me for years are aware of my demeanor. You know that I am always positive, happy, and quick to forgive. I hold no grudges and treat everyone as if they are a part of my family.
I will continue the same when elected as your new Sheriff.
It is and has been my goal to serve Caddo Parish since early adulthood. Around 25 years ago I became a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children. This was a volunteer position that yielded a greater reward than any paying job. I then became a deputy Constable where I worked over 40 hours/week for several years before you elected me as your now “2- (6 year term) Caddo Parish Constable.
This Sheriff election is very important to ALL citizens of Shreveport and Caddo Parish. Eric Hatfield will be a Sheriff for EVERY citizen regardless of race, age, wealth, religion, or social status. If elected, you will see positive change immediately this political season. NO more politics! PEOPLE SERVING AND HELPING PEOPLE...
This MUST be a team effort. We cannot win this race without your help. If we stand “united as one“ we can win this for ALL citizens of Caddo Parish. Race and social status will NO longer divide us.
Why am I running to become your Sheriff? Today, and every day until the election on October 12th, I will share plans that will answer that very question. Our children are our future. Therefore, a significant measure of our focus should be directed toward keeping young people safe and on the right path.
Many of us are aware of the crisis in Caddo Parish in dealing with our misdirected youth. Youth crime continues to grow as a result of many factors. One of those factors is that the Juvenile Detention Facility is out of space and can not hold new juvenile offenders. Our officers are continuously responding to calls regarding serious crimes committed by juveniles, yet there is nowhere to house them once arrested. Juveniles are being released back onto the streets, knowing that their future can become even more bleak by committing an even more serious crime, that can go unpunished. Word travels fast, and by now it is common knowledge, that if you are under 17, you can commit a crime that will go unpunished. This crisis continues to grow as youth offenders become adult offenders, and contribute to the Parish’s rapidly growing prison population. This does not fix crime. This does not rehabilitate offenders.
“Spare the time and Share the trade.”
The old Caddo Detention Center in SW Caddo Parish, can be used to house youth that are arrested for crimes serious enough to warrant incarceration. Most of the time, and depending on the crime committed, youth are not sentenced to long stints. Once youth are placed in the new Juvenile Detention Center, they will be immediately enrolled in a program that will promote a structured environment with a daily regimen, 3 healthy meals a day, personalized, grade-level, curriculum-based instruction from a licensed CPSB teacher, restorative justice and engagement with community leaders and mentors. These mentors will be from diverse backgrounds ranging from formerly incarcerated individuals to local business owners.
This program will be at no-cost to the taxpayers. How? My plan will “recycle” adult non-violent offenders, by offering them the option to mentor, teach, or assist youth offenders at the Juvenile detention center. My plan reduces incarceration at the Caddo Correctional Center, while also decreasing the crime rate through a truly rehabilitative approach. My plan will graduate youth who will have the tools and knowledge to become productive and self-sufficient students, family members, and citizens.
Here’s an example of how it will work:
John Doe is a father of two small children, a welder by trade, and is arrested tonight for DWI. The judge has the option of sentencing Mr. Doe to (30) days at the overcrowded CCC or the judge can sentence John Doe to (30) days of community service at the new Juvenile Detention Center where Mr. Doe will be able to mentor youth by teaching them his trade. Mr. Doe may only be obligated to teach for a few hours every other day for (90) days but most importantly, Mr. Doe will be able to go home to his family each day and continue to work at his regular job. There are multiple rewards within this plan. Mr. Doe gets a second chance at a clean record, he received the moral value of mentoring a youth, and he bypasses incarceration. The youth obtains a skill that will not only keep him or her busy but it will also offer value to his future.
Each day, numerous individuals are arrested for non-violent crimes. (Bankers, carpenters, accountants, welders, heavy equipment operators, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, landscaping professionals, etc.)
If all of these resources are utilized to truly rehabilitate youth who are on the wrong path, the potential return of this investment into the future of our youth will be unmeasurable.
“My Plan” - Part II
When elected, I will propose an inmate program where the inmates will work with dogs from the Caddo Parish Animal Control shelter. These inmates will provide training, grooming, and prepping dogs for adoption and/or “Service” dogs.
Many inmates come from broken families and have never experienced unconditional love until they come in contact with a dog whose survival depends on them. In addition, because the dogs often come from broken and unhealthy homes, the inmates identify with them.
This program will promote peace and rehabilitation for both the animals as well as the inmates.
These programs are successful all over the United States and statistics prove that inmates involved in the rehabilitation of pets do not re-offend. They often seek jobs with animals in the future. This interaction teaches compassion, control, and patience as well as a sense of self-worth while they are giving back to the community and receiving love from the dog they are assigned to. “The Florida Department of Corrections-approved TAILS program -- which stands for Teaching Animals and Inmates Life Skills -- focuses on pairing at-risk dogs with institutionalized men. The at-risk dogs are categorized as those that would have been euthanized or were seized from dog-fighting, abusive or hoarding environments.” (Jen Deane, executive director of TAILS) This program involves a very strict process for screening both inmates and dogs. Inmates who have been charged with any violent or animal-related crimes are not eligible, and they also cannot have had any behavioral issues while incarcerated. Participating in the program is essentially a reward for good behavior.
Caddo Parish as a whole can greatly benefit from this program as we inch forward toward a parish known for our culture, prosperity, and kindness rather than our “mass incarceration.”
I’m Eric Hatfield and I’ll be a Sheriff for the People (and pets.) NOT the Power!
It’s time to get a “CAB.”
When dealing with matters of great importance many agencies and entities look to sophisticated and diverse groups of citizens, board members, etc., for guidance in the decision making as it relates to decisions that will have a great impact on their company or more importantly, the life or livelihood of an individual.
For ages, the United States has exercised this option and utilized this concept in many aspects of local and national government. For example: Civil Service Boards, Parole Boards, etc.
Moving forward, I propose the following:
When elected, I will immediately compose a “CAB.” (Citizen Advisory Board) specifically tasks with overseeing the Caddo Parish Sheriff as well as the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office. This board will participate in major decisions regarding the jail, the inmates, safety and well-being of deputies and inmates, complaints, employees, etc.
This board will consists of the following:
- (5) adult males
- (5) adult females
- from at least (4) different races
- (3) of the members must be “formerly incarcerated” individuals that served at least (3) consecutive years in a corrections facility.
This board will also be tasks with budgetary issues, new technology, as well as innovative plans to STOP mass-incarceration in Caddo Parish. We will use their ideas to formulate new legislation that will change the way we house and treat inmates.
This board will convene as often as needed based upon necessity and importance and will be replaced every (12) months.
This plan will allow (48) citizens over a (4) year term to offer insight and direction from a culturally diverse group of local citizens.
This “CAB” may not take you home but it WILL lead you to a safer and more accountable Caddo Parish.
It is important to note that YOUR Sheriff is YOUR employee. You the citizens should have a voice in the decisions that affect our families and friends.
Equally as important, deputies and inmates are human beings. They have mothers, fathers, siblings, children, spouses, etc., that love and depend on them.
Compassion is on its way back... I know this because I’m bringin’ it.......
“Fair Sheriff Program”
When I am elected, I will implement the very FIRST Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office “Fair Sheriff” Program. For the first time in Caddo Parish history the Sheriff’s office will enact the same policy that is in effect within the City of Shreveport which is the policy of “providing and ensuring contract/purchasing opportunities to level the playing field, with the ultimate goal of enhancing economic development through the growth and development of disadvantaged and small businesses.”
This program will offer a “fair playing field” for ALL local citizens/Contractors when it comes to providing services and goods to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.
For example, goods and services may include but not be limited to:
- Inmate food services
- Skill training
- Inmate attire
- Janitorial Services
- Auto parts for patrol vehicles
- Safety equipment for officers
- Fleet fuel
- Pest control
- Professional services such as plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and other repairs
We will also offer job fairs for inmates as we work in unison with our new “offender recycling” program to ensure that arrestees leave CCC with a mindset and a skillset to not only survive in society but most importantly, to SUCCEED in society.
We will work closely with our judges and legislators to ensure that sentencing for non-violent offenders may include the option of training and mentoring “incarcerated persons.”
Our goal is to decrease recidivism and restore dignity and humanity within Caddo Parish.
“Work Release = Fair Wage”
When I am elected as your next Sheriff, I will immediately restructure the “work release program.”
Inmates currently participating in this program are working much like slaves in the early 1900’s. The inmates are generating a hefty income for the Sheriff’s Office while their children and spouses struggle to stay afloat. It’s disgraceful that these innocent families are not the recipients of a sufficient portion of their father’s or mother’s wages.
My Plan is as follows:
Inmates that choose to be productive and participate in the “work-release” program will receive the FULL wage paid by the company participating with the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office will ONLY deduct that percentage necessary to cover CSO expenses including costs incurred for transport, food, and other expenses relating to the legitimate logistics involved.
The “NET pay” will go directly to the inmate’s family.
It’s time to start treating people like “people.”
In order for a ship to sail safely and efficiently you must balance the ship.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office is not only unbalanced but it’s “off-course.”
When elected, I will make the necessary changes to ensure that we have a “balance” when it comes to promoting and hiring deputies.
This balance will consists of equal opportunities for advancement and equal pay for both men and women.
We will enjoy the stability gained from having more females in administration as well as among “ranking” officers.
In order to stay on course it is imperative that the Sheriff’s office has both males and females in leadership roles by 2020.
This includes EVERY department within the department.
The winds of change are blowing harder every day.
I look forward to working with all of you.
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