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Sorrento Police have options to stay open

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SORRENTO - The Sorrento Police Department has one offer on the table to provide insurance to keep the department open.

The town of Sorrento is currently considering the only liability insurance quote they have of $67,692. That's nearly $40,000 more than the department's current insurance, which is set to end in five days.

Sorrento Assistant Chief of Police Ricky Smith said he's been working every day to get more offers.

"If that's all we got, that's what it's gonna have to be," he said. "It's frustrating that all of the work that I'm putting in to try to keep the department, and I just keep hitting brick walls."

Smith says he'll keep trying to find insurance for the department even after the Nov. 19 deadline.

"I'm still gonna be here as the assistant chief of police and I am still working to try to, after the 19th, I'm still trying to get insurance for the department to get this department back," he said.

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley sent a letter to Sorrento Mayor Mike Lambert stating that the sheriff's office would take over for the rest of the year for $37,521.

"It's been a mess down there, and I think everyone would agree with that notion," he said. "Now with that you get the full enchilada of sheriff services that they're not going to pay for. How many narcs do they have down there? None. How many civil processors do they have down there? None. How many detectives do they have down there? None."

But Smith feels the better option would be to sustain the police department.

"Ninety-eight percent of the citizens are on-board with us to keep us here, because we're visual. We're riding downtown. We get to know the citizens, the residents and they know us by face," he said.

Sorrento councilman Randy Anny says Sorrento could afford to pay for the one quote they have because the police department gave up an officer and a police unit earlier in the year. He says the estimated cost of $66,000 for the officer and police unit would cancel out the cost for new insurance coverage.

Town leaders planned to meet today to discuss the current offers available.


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