Pay hikes, upgrades planned for IPSO

John Dupont
Sheriff Brett Stassi

The reopening of the Iberville Parish Courthouse after a closure of nearly two months also brought the Sheriff’s Office into a new phase of operation.

The Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office will implement employee pay raises when the fiscal year begins July 1, but extra compensation will not be the only change in the department.

For the first time in the history of the department, IPSO will enact a pay schedule that will reflect credit for years of service, Sheriff Brett Stassi said.

“Under that plan, they will get credit for years of service, and they know what their salary will be upon retirement,” he said.

Other changes will include an upgrade in the radio system for the department.

The new system will bring all entities together in one system.

Stassi had been working with Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso on ways to upgrade the system, while also simplifying it in the process.

“We had been piece-milling things for a while, but now everything is in full circle,” he said.

The upgrades in pay come into play as Stassi begins work in the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Additional revenue from industrial expansion in the petrochemical sector, along with the expiration on tax exemptions in that industry, have given the IPSO and other parish entities will bring more budgetary flexibility during the next year.

“Because of our ties with the chemical industry, we have been fortunate,” Stassi said. “At the same time, we have avoided a lot of missteps that other parishes have not.

“They’ve been good neighbors for us,” he said. “We’ve worked well with them and we look forward to working with them more in the future.”

Budget finalizations will figure as one of the main items of business for the IPSO now that all employees have returned to work at the courthouse, the sheriff said.

“All my people are back,” he said. “We’ve been able to work from home, but we’re here and all together again.

“It’s kind of like a reacquaintance right now,” Stassi said. “Everything is going well, and everybody looks like they’re reenergized and glad to be back at work.”

The department resumed business on the heels of the Memorial Day weekend, the first holiday after the two-month quarantine.

Many residents may have made up for the lost time during the holiday weekend, but it went largely without any issues for deputies across the parish.

“They had a few minor incident, but things mostly went well,” Stassi said.