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Sheriffs Meet with McAllister for More Federal Funds

Local sheriffs said their Tuesday night meeting with Congressman Vance McAllister at the Ouachita Parish Rifle Range was about bringing more federal dollars to their departments.

OUACHITA PARISH -- Local sheriffs said their Tuesday night meeting with Congressman Vance McAllister at the Ouachita Parish Rifle Range was about bringing more federal dollars to their departments.

"Justice Assistance Grants get cut, our Cops Hiring Grants get cut, our stimulus money's out, our Homeland Security money's been depleted. We don't have anymore of that," Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell said.

"Streamlining this paperwork. It's a lot of red tape that basically, we feel, is useless," echoed Richland Parish Sheriff Lee Harrell.

Sheriffs from Morehouse, Lincoln and West Carroll Parishes were also on-hand at the meeting.

Russell and Harrell said federal grant money and matching funds for sheriff's departments are becoming more and more suspect.

Russell said he's been trying to hire more officers, but is being denied grants to do so.

"I would like to see a few more resource officers in our schools," he said. "We've applied, like, three years in a row for those and, so far, we haven't received those funding to hire those extra people."

Harrell said a matched grant for ballistics vests for his officers won't even cover a full department.

"It will only buy about six vests and we were trying to buy twenty-something vests for our patrol and our investigators," he said.

Harrell adds that he's trying to get cameras installed in patrol cars to record stops.
 
He and Russell said they told all this to McAllister and asked him to inform them of any new federal grants coming out.

They both said they're confident in McAllister.

"I'm confident that we have the ear of the congressman. He's one vote out of many votes," Harrell said.

"Those are our dollars in Washington, their tax dollars here and we need to fight locally to get those back here," said Russell.

So far, none of the sheriffs said they talked about the recent controversy involving McAllister kissing another woman who wasn't his wife, nor did they say if he brought it up.
 
For right now, the sheriffs saidit was back to business talking to what they call their avenue in Washington, D.C.
 



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