Great-grandmother becomes Sorrento's police chief
SORRENTO- A 71-year-old great-grandmother appears to be the de facto police chief of this small town since all of her opponents withdrew.
Fern Barnett is now listed as the "unopposed" candidate on the Secretary of State's candidate's list. Barnett is listed as a Democrat.
"Different things have been happening and I felt like people in town are not getting a fair chance to make an intelligent decision [about keeping the police department]," Barnett told WBRZ News 2 in an interview in August.
But, she may be in charge of a department that does not exist. Voters are being asked to close the police department for good and the town council effectively shut down the department by not funding it this summer. The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is patrolling the town.
"I think closing the department makes the town go backwards and we should be moving forward," she said in the interview.
Barnett has nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
The Sorrento Police Department has been the center of a series of gaffs, including a police chief who resigned amid a federal investigation and conviction along with the department losing its insurance policy over departmental procedures.
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