Pennies. I remember when I was a kid you could actually buy stuff with a penny. Granted you couldn't buy much but today the much-maligned penny is often thought of with such disregard that many convenience stores will give you one if you're a penny short on your purchase. That's the power of one penny but if you combine a lot of pennies, say millions of pennies then you're eventually talking about real money.

Real money is what the Sheriff's Department in Evangeline Parish needs right now and they are asking residents of that parish for a penny. Okay, it's a one-cent increase in the sales tax in the parish. Sheriff Charles Guillory is joining other business and civic leaders in Evangeline Parish to push for a one-cent sales tax to sent before the voters this spring.

Sheriff Guillory told KATC television that under the current budget, his office can't adequately patrol the parish the way it should be patrolled. The additional sales tax revenue would allow Guillory to increase manpower on the department's current patrol schedule.

I have 2 patrolmen per shift right now and that's not sufficient. I need at least 5.

So, you might be wondering exactly how much money are we talking about with a one-cent sales tax increase? Sheriff Guillory estimates it would add $3.7 million to the parish coffers. Some of that money could be used to fund additions and improvements to the Sheriff's Department. By the way, that department hasn't seen a significant change in its budget since the late 70s.

Here's what has to happen next, if the measure is going to go before the voters.

February 16th date is for me to adopt a resolution to hold a special election on April 24th for my tax

Again, those comments from Sheriff Charles Guillory were chronicled in a story published by KATC television. 

So, we will see in the coming weeks if the Sheriff can get the resolution adopted and on the ballot, and then we will see if the citizens of Evangeline Parish are willing to put their money into better police protection in April. I certainly hope everyone will do their homework on the issue and make the best choice possible for those that call Evangeline Parish home.

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