Bergeron elected next West Baton Rouge sheriff
UPDATE: Jeff Bergeron was elected as West Baton Rouge Parish's next sheriff by a 68-to-32 margin.
Read the original story below.
WEST BATON ROUGE - After nearly 20 years in office, West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Mike Cazes is retiring.
Voters in West Baton Rouge Parish will decide between "Jeff" Bergeron and Leo Fontenot to take the top spot at the sheriff's office. In October, Bergeron secured 44 percent of the vote and Fotnenot took 30 percent, pushing the two to the November runoff.
Bergeron spent nearly three decades working at the attorney general's office. Bergeron says if elected, his priority is transparency and safety.
While campaigning, both candidates were adamant about stopping juvenile crime after a deadly shooting at the Port Allen and Brusly high school football game in September.
"We need to address the problem at the source," Bergeron said. "We need to be in our schools showing kids that there's another way to handle confrontation and handle conflict resolution."
Fontenot has worked at WBRSO for decades. If elected, he would be the first Black sheriff to serve the parish. On the topic of juvenile crime, Fontenot provided potential solutions to curb the deadly problem.
"We have to work towards providing some resources for these kids, whether that be trade schools, whether that be concentrating on mentoring programs and mentorships," he said.
Competition aside, both say they're grateful for the voters of West Baton Rouge.
"This campaign was about change, and no matter who you voted for, you voted for new leadership within the sheriff's office," Bergeron added.