Sheriff candidates say traffic enforcement is on the minds of voters

Jefferson Parish voters will do something on March 24th that they don't do very often: elect a new sheriff.

Since 1980, Jefferson Parish has only elected two new sheriffs. That's when Harry Lee won his first election as sheriff. And then, in 2007, Newell Normand was elected for the first time as sheriff.

Sheriff Joe Lopinto, the current sheriff, rose to the position when Normand appointed him as his successor last year when he retired. Lopinto is running against former Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson John Fortunato, who retired from the force last year to take a shot at the top spot.

Both candidates will appear on WGNO's public affairs show In the Arena with John Young this Sunday, March 4, at 6:30 a.m.

One topic they say has been on the minds of voters is traffic enforcement.

"I've moved radar guns from our traffic division out to our road division in order increase enforcement in areas where, if we get a complaint that day, we have the ability to also enforce that day," says Lopinto about changes he's made in his months in office.

Fortunato says he will look into beefing up the traffic enforcement bureau.

"Over the last few years, we've had a dramatic reduction in our traffic enforcement bureau," he says. "Almost to the extent of 50 percent. So I plan on looking at that."

To see the complete interviews, tune into WGNO Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. for In the Arena with John Young.