This election year I have been doing a series of interviews with candidates, in order to give our readers a different view of the candidates out there. I try to ask tough questions, but I also try to be fair with the candidates. I know several candidates have expressed their willingness to do so, and because of this I am going to stick with Republicans.
But the Sheriff’s race is a bit different because it’s not so much about ideology, but rather, who is going to be the best Sheriff for East Baton Rouge. There’s certain political positions like that, ie State Treasurer and Secretary of State are prime examples of this. Because of this, I am attempting to give the Sheriff candidates an equal opportunity to be interviewed for this website. Today I caught up with Dalton Honore.
Louisiana Conservative: “Hi Dalton, how are you doing today.”
Dalton Honore: “Fine, how are you doing Jeff?”
LC: “I’m doing good. Look, you’re getting ready to run for Sheriff and I’m just kind of curious, what prompted you to run for Sheriff?”
DH: “Well Jeff, I just turned 64 years old, I’m in a position to retire and I want to see change brought about that office. Having the knowledge of that Sheriff’s office for that last 40+ years, and being the first African American deputy hired. The office still operates basically the same as it did forty years ago. We need to be brought into today’s crime fighting method’s. [It’s] different techniques, and different method’s.”
LC: “What do you see is the #1 crime problem in Baton Rouge today? ”
DH: “Well today is based on past experience. 5 years ago you didn’t hear of home invasions, carjackings, and drive by shootings. These are new to the Baton Rouge area and nothing is being done about them. The murder rate now is out of control and nobody is doing anything about it and these are some of the things that I intend to hit the ground, day one and try to correct some of these problems. Growing up in the neighborhood that I grew up in, I’m very familiar with some of these problems and I can attack these problems a little different from the other candidates.”
DH: “Well I have spent some thirty two years in law enforcement. Approximately a dozen of them were at the Sheriff’s office. I started off as a deputy and rose to the ranks to captain and a substation commander. Having commanded 35 regular deputies and 35 auxillaries, I do have the experience in commanding street officers. On the other hand, I have 20-25 years experience in business, as an entreprenuer in East Baton Rouge Parish. So I have the business knowledge and the business background that I can bring to the Sheriff’s office and make a complete turn around, a turn around that would benefit East Baton Rouge Parish and it’s citizens.LC: “Why don’t you tell me a little bit about how you grew up, what were the circumstances of growing up?”
DH: “Well Jeff, I was born in a charity in New Orleans, I stayed down here long enough for my mother to have me and bring me to Baton Rouge. I grew up in North Baton Rouge in a little area, went to High School in North Baton Rouge and was a high school dropout. I entered the military, got my GED. After being honorably discharged, I returned to Southern University and graduated college and started teaching school. During my last year and a half, I became the first African American deputy hired in this Parish [East Baton Rouge Parish] and went on to teach school after that. My love for law enforcement made me return to law enforcement, even after going in business I left and came back to law enforcement. I have a passion for law enforcement. I’m a grandfather now, I have six grandkids and I want to see a safe community. I got nothing else to give this community but myself, and I promise you I’ll be the best Sheriff this Parish has ever had.
LC: “You definitely emminate Sheriff, it’s just something about you that eminates Sheriff, but let me ask you can you see any problems that are just now beginning to develop? Something that’s not really public knowledge but potentially a major problem in the future?
DH: “Well I look at how the office operates. When I started it was a small operation, Baton Rouge is a metropolitan area now that encompasses 500 thousand plus persons and we have to look at Baton Rouge. It’s not a little rural city anymore, or a little rural town. I feel with my past experience and background, and age being the wisdom to this extent, I can serve this Parish in a capacity that has never happened before. I’ve lived a good life and I have a lot to give back to this community because I love this Parish.
LC: “Tell me a little bit about your family.”
DH: “I’ve been married 43 years to Joethel Gray, we have three adult kids, we have six grandkids. My oldest is a certified public accountant, my oldest son is a professional engineer, a land surveyor and my youngest son is a veteran Baton Rouge police officer. All of my kids have degrees in their respected fields of endeavor and they live in East Baton Rouge Parish. I want to see a safe place for the grandkids to grow up in. I enjoy being a grandparent and this is something I got deep concern for law enforcement. I feel that, with my son being a Baton Rouge city police officer, I would bridge that gap between the Sheriff’s office and the city police, and not just the city police but all the law enforcement agencies, because I got a compassion for the other agencies of East Baton Rouge Parish.
LC: “Besides voting for you, what can the citizens of East Baton Rouge do to help fight crime?”
DH: “The community must get involved, one of our stands is ‘Help me stop crime and violence in this community’. You have to be a part of this community to know exactly what I am talking about. When I say community policing, we talk about community policing. Community policing is actually policing in the neighborhood in which you come. You have a knowledge of the community, you have a knowledge of the people that live there, they got respect and trust in you, this will make a better repoire with the police officers. The neighborhoods I come out of were tough neighborhoods, but the word ‘trust’ means a lot and I think I can bring that trust to the whole Parish.
LC: “What do you think are at the core of some of these problems facing Baton Rouge today?”
DH: Illegal possession of firearms are running rampant in this Parish, one of my primary goals is to take these weapons off the streets, that means you must get out of the automobiles and start frisking these persons. We know who are carrying guns [illegally]. We can almost tell just from police knowledge. There will be no profiling, but an experienced police officer has a knowledge, he has an instinct of a person being in violation of the law. Let me make it clear that it will not be a case of profiling, but a veteran police officer has that instinct to almost know whether a violent criminal is out there with a weapon on him and these [illegally possessed] weapons must be removed from the streets and make this a safe community.
LC: “Dalton, thank you for taking the time to meet with me.”
DH: “Thank you, Jeff”