Sheriff K.P. Gibson
Acadia Parish sheriff says focus is on patrol deputies
Steve Bandy /Crowley Post-Signal
Sheriff K.P. Gibson has made a number of changes in the way things are run at the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office since he first took office in 2016 — and more are on the way.
“Anything we do is to prepare for the future, beyond me,” he told members of the Crowley Lions Club during their recent luncheon meeting.
Pointing out that he is only the eighth sheriff in the 130-plus year history of the parish, Gibson said, “We are always working to better serve our customers, who are our citizens.”
Speaking of the Patrol Division, the most visible of all deputies, the sheriff explained that one of his first acts was to make a large investment in vehicles.
“That’s the deputy’s office,” he explained. “A lot was put into the in-car system because we want them out on the street, not in our office filling out reports.”
He said the Patrol Division has been increased to 24 deputies and two K-9 units patrolling revised, smaller zones to enhance response time.
“I have to give a shout out to our Corrections Division,” Gibson said. “With all the coronavirus pandemic, up until a month ago we only had one positive case in our jail.”
He credited that to a system of “holding cells” for incoming prisoners.
Two more prisoners have tested positive since then, he added.
“This has been our biggest fear during the pandemic, not only for our staff but for the prisoners.”
Looking to the future, Gibson explained that the former detention center adjacent to the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office complex is being transformed into a mechanic shop “where we can have everything under one roof and secure.”
But the biggest project he has tackled is construction of a new shooting range to replace the one that the department has used since 1972.
The new range will use a unique “trapping system” in the berm to stop bullets, according to Gibson. It will consist of rubber pellets that will be filters and replaced every million or so rounds — approximately every two years.
Located directly behind the sheriff’s office, the new $1.3 million range is expected to be completed in August or September and has an expected life span of “40 to 50 years.”
“Our goal is to open it up to the public on specific days with a range monitor.” he said.
Asked about the use of surveillance cameras in high crime areas, Gibson said he could see both good points and bad.
“They’re good in that you can sometimes see a vehicle fleeing a scene. However, crime is going to move,” he said. “Cameras are good, but I think more boots on the ground is better.”
He explained that criminals will know where the cameras are placed and will “either move their operations to another location or destroy the cameras, leading to more expense. Cameras are a positive step, but to what expense?”