Warren Riley, on leave as the number two official in the New Orleans Police Department, is running for election as Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Riley, 45, who would run the Orleans Parish Prison, says it should be “run as a comprehensive law enforcement agency. There are a lot of resources there that can benefit our fight against crime.” His campaign is built around one novel concept: a sea change in the duties and staffing of deputies that would make more of them hands-on prison guards and 200 of them de facto New Orleans police officers.
His opponent in the Nov. 2 run-off, City Councilman Marlin Gusman, has stepped up his attack. Gusman argues that law dictates that the sheriff concentrate on his primary responsibility of running the prison. The notion that the office’s duties should be expanded and its personnel diluted by running operations with the police department is half-baked and potentially dangerous, Gusman says.