A New Era Begins: Soignet sworn in as Sheriff
This morning, guests gathered at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Houma to witness the beginning of a new era in local law enforcement — as Timothy Soignet took his oath of office to officially become the Sheriff of Terrebonne Parish.
Following a mass led by Bishop Shelton Fabre, Soignet was sworn in next to his wife Melanie Soignet and in front of family, friends and Terrebonne Parish elected officials, among other guests.
“It’s emotional, but it’s humbling,” Soignet said after the ceremony. “It’s the people that put me here, and I have that responsibility that the people chose me…That’s the most humbling thing.”
Among the attendees were Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove and 32nd Judicial District Judge Juan Pickett.
Dove said he and Soignet have been in constant communication since Soignet started transitioning into the position after winning the seat in November.
“He’s going to do a good job,” Dove said. “He’s got some ideas, and we’re willing to work with him in any way he needs us to.”
Pickett said he has been communicating with Soignet as well and that he’s shown interest in the Terrebonne Parish ex-offender re-entry program.
“I think he’s going to do a wonderful job,” Pickett added. “His heart is in it. He’s got the experience; he’s got the wisdom. I think that combination will make him a wonderful sheriff. I just wish him all the luck and success in the world.”
Soignet replaces Jerry Larpenter, who retired after serving eight terms as sheriff. Soignet said Larpenter opened the doors as soon as the election was over. “His advice was take care of the people that are taking care of the job,” he continued.
His first priority is to put his infrastructure in place so the Sheriff’s Office can better serve the parish, Soignet said.
The relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the community is good, Soignet noted, but it can always improve.
“I’m providing a lot of transparency in that office, and I’m not scared to answer the tough questions,” he continued. “There’s always room to improve it, and every day I will try to improve it.”
View pictures of the event above.