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Sorrento Police chief fires back

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BATON ROUGE - With his department in danger of losing its liability coverage and under fire from several town officials, Sorrento's Police Chief Earl Theriot is fighting back.

Theriot questions the reasons why Sorrento's mayor, Mike Lambert, is in favor of getting rid of the town's police department, which could happen next month.

"Why don't you want a police department?" Theriot asked. "What is your motive? What do you gain out of this?"

On Nov. 19, Sorrento Police officers will lose their current liability coverage. The coverage company, Risk Management Inc., said they're being dropped because two officers have not taken the required psychological tests, called the Matrix.

The chief said he was completely unaware of the issue.

"We had other Matrix from other departments where they worked with passing grades," said Theriot. "I thought that was acceptable."

Without coverage the officers will not be allowed to work, leaving the chief all alone.

"I'm not resigning, I'm an elected official," Theriot said. "I'm not going anywhere."

Ascension Sheriff Jeff Wiley has pledged to police the area, but will only do so if his office is the sole and exclusive provider of law enforcement. That sets up a possible showdown between Chief Theriot and the sheriff if a deal can't be worked out.

When asked by News 2 if he would resign should the police officers be let go, Theriot remained defiant.

"I'm not going anywhere," Theriot said.

Theriot said they are waiting on quotes from five other insurance companies to see about coverage for his officers. He hopes to have the quotes in a week.



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