Sheriff’s Office faces new challenges in latest surge

Staff Report

An agreement between the Iberville and West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office will allow the two agencies to help each other when needed with inmate isolation during the pandemic.

As part of the pact, if one department’s isolation cells are full, they can send them to the other’s detention facility.

Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi has announced an agreement with West Baton Rouge parish to handle inmates who test positive for COVID-19.

“In our case, we had an inmate who developed COVID-19, and they had enough room for us to keep him there,” Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said. “But we’re using that sparingly.”

The agreement will not involve monetary exchange.

“We have an agreement … kind of a reciprocating deal,” he said.

The agreement comes as the Delta variant – the fourth strain of the coronavirus – has sent the new case total on a spike since July 4.

More than 800 new cases have been logged in the past six weeks.

“The coronavirus is affecting everything, and it’s changed my view of the world,” Stassi said. “It’s hard to believe and I never believed something like this could do it.”

More inmates have agreed to take the vaccine, but Stassi has urged residents to strongly consider taking the vaccination.

“It’s been proven that the vaccine works, and I’m hoping more people will take it,” he said. “We need more needles going into the arms.”

DELAYS

Meanwhile, due to the state of emergency Iberville Parish has faced with the resurgence of COVID-19, Stassi has notified residents that Acadian Ambulance services may have delayed response times.

The possible delays are due to the higher call volumes the ambulance service has faced during the latest spike.

Ambulances also have longer wait times at emergency rooms for the transfer of patients to facilities with available beds. Additionally, Acadian Ambulance is required to sanitize their units if a COVID positive patient is transported. Please know that Acadian Ambulance Services and the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office remain dedicated to providing our residents with the best and safest care possible,” he said. “Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated."