The severe winter weather the parish has been experiencing has brought forth it’s own problems to navigate for the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office. Though through their adaptability, the Sheriff’s Office has been able to continue serving the citizens of Webster Parish and making sure they’re safe.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime, and, you know, it’s been a challenge for us to be able to access some of the Parish. I’ve got some deputies in their personal vehicles answering calls, because that’s the only way we can get to some of the citizens in the winter storm,” said Sheriff Jason Parker.
“It’s one of those tough deals to authorize the use of personal vehicles to go out and do our job, but, you know, it’s this kind of the moment. We had to make that decision to do that because that’s not what we would like to do, but we were able to access some folks.”
While the office has been taking care of the wrecks caused by people who have disregarded warnings to avoid the roadways except in the case of emergency, Sheriff Parker says it takes time and resources away from their main goal, which is ensuring the safety of the citizens of the parish.
“Most of our calls have been just welfare checks on our senior citizens, some that have been called in, some that we’re just going out and checking on throughout the parish,” said Parker.
Through their welfare checks, the Sheriff’s office was able to identify an area where citizens were left without power, and helped to tend to their needs.
“We had several senior citizens down in the southwest part of the parish that we were checking on, and they’ve been without power since five-thirty Wednesday. One is on oxygen and her generator didn’t work. So we were able to get her another generator so she could at least have some heat, and that’s what it’s all about, taking care of our senior citizens,” said Parker.
“And you know, that’s what we’re here for. That’s what our focus is right now. Certainly we have to answer our calls for service, the vehicles stuck in the ditch, but it is not a priority for us. We need to get out and take care of our senior citizens and our elderly and we have to respond to these calls of domestic violence, but while we’re taking care of that, we’re being tied up with vehicles stuck in a ditch because they wanted to run to the store and get an ICEE.”
Once again, the Sheriff asked citizens to avoid the roadways until they have been declared safe for travel, which he anticipates will be either Saturday evening or Sunday.
“Unless you just have to be out on the roadways, we encourage everybody, still stay at home, but if you’re not in a four-wheel drive vehicle, I don’t imagine you’re going to make it too far.”