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Sorrento chief patrolling without auto insurance

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Posted: Jan 14, 2014 5:36 PM by Jason Newton
Updated: Jan 14, 2014 6:47 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: sorrento, sorrento police, sorrento insurance

SORRENTO, La. - Sorrento Police Chief Earl Theriot said he doesn't need basic auto insurance in order to patrol his town.

Documents obtained by News 2 show that the basic auto insurance coverage for Sorrento Police was canceled Monday. This comes after Sorrento lost its insurance for the police department last year, and reduced it to just Theriot and his assistant chief.

The insurance company, Risk Management, said Chief Theriot was going to continue patrolling the streets against the agreed-upon auto insurance policy.

"We agreed to reinstate the policy on two vehicles with conditions," said Risk Management General Manager Jerry Cronin. "They're going contrary to the conditions so I've withdrawn coverage on vehicles."

The conditions included stipulations that the cars could only be used for administrative purposes and not for law enforcement work.

But Chief Theriot disagrees. Our cameras found him out on patrol all over the town Tuesday. When he stopped, he told us that the auto liability law does not apply to his department.

"Because we're not required to have liability insurance," Theriot said in response to a question. "Law says we're not required (to have it) as police officers."

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said that under Louisiana law, he believes police departments are not required to carry auto liability insurance, but the departments will be held responsible for all costs if in an accident occurs.

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