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July 16, 2019

Abita Springs Opts Out of Agreement with the STPSO

Press Release from St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Randy Smith announced today that Abita Springs Mayor Dan Curtis has elected not to renew the town’s Intergovernmental Agreement with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office. The current agreement, which was put in place in January of 2017, by the former Abita Springs mayor and Sheriff Randy Smith, provided for an enhanced and dedicated law enforcement presence in the Town of Abita Springs, through which Abita Springs’ residents enjoyed 24-hour-a-day dedicated law enforcement coverage within the town. In addition, a ranking supervisor was assigned to serve as the town's liaison with the Sheriff's Office.

Shortly after taking office, Mayor Curtis sent Sheriff Smith notice, dated January 23, 2019, of his intention to cancel the current Intergovernmental Agreement, effective July 23, 2019.  For the past several months, Sheriff Smith has attempted to address the concerns of Mayor Curtis, including providing, at Mayor Curtis' request, a proposed revised agreement, which provided for only two full-time dedicated STPSO deputies to be assigned to the town, as opposed the four deputies and one supervisor currently assigned to the Town of Abita Springs.  The sheriff also provided the mayor a proposed three-month extension of the current Intergovernmental Agreement, in order to give additional time to come to an agreement between the Town of Abita Springs and the STPSO.

The mayor, through his attorney, Edward Deano, informed the STPSO that the mayor has no intention of signing any agreements with the Sheriff’s Office and that the Intergovernmental Agreement will cease to be effective and ultimately expire on July 23, 2019.

The sheriff advised the mayor and the Town Council through its attorney that should the Town of Abita Springs wish to reconsider its decision to deprive its citizens and businesses of the enhanced law enforcement services previously provided by the Intergovernmental Agreement, the sheriff would be willing to meet with them at any time to discuss the matter.   Although the sheriff is disappointed with Mayor Curtis' decision, the sheriff would like to reassure the citizens of the Town of Abita Springs, that although there will no longer be a dedicated 24-hour-a-day presence within the town, the Sheriff's Office will continue to respond to calls for service by the citizens of Abita Springs in the same manner as calls for service are handled throughout unincorporated St. Tammany Parish.

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