Blanchard named warden at St. Mary jail
The St. Mary Parish jail has a new warden.
Capt. Gil Blanchard will be promoted to major and will be assigned to the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center as warden, Sheriff Blaise Smith said in a press release.
Blanchard has been in law enforcement since 1983 and has experience in patrol, investigations and narcotics enforcement as well as with the Special Response Team.
He has most recently supervised the work of detectives, juvenile detectives, school resource officers and evidence custodians.
The parish jail became an issue in the sheriff’s race last fall, when Smith won a runoff to succeed Mark Hebert, who resigned because of an illness in the family.
Four men escaped from the jail in two separate incidents in June 2018. At the time, Smith’s runoff opponent, Scott Anslum, was serving as interim sheriff. Anslum came in for criticism after the escapes and for personnel moves in response.
Anslum finished with 34 percent of the vote in the November primary, in which Smith edged Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi, 23 percent to 22 percent, for the second spot in the runoff.
In December, Smith beat Anslum with 52 percent of the vote.
Smith is facing re-election challenges in this October’s primary from Grizzaffi and Todd Pellerin.
In other personnel appointments, Detective Jeremy Greene will be promoted to captain and will be assigned as patrol commander. Greene brings 25 years of law enforcement experience to his new position, including patrol, narcotics, and investigations experience, the press release said.
Capt. Nick Rogers will be assigned to lead the Investigations Section.
Agent Eddie Gay will temporarily be assigned to the Investigations Section as a detective, filling the spot left by Greene.
Paul Scott and Bruce Clifton will be assigned to new positions at the center.
“More positive changes to the Sheriff’s Office will be made in the future, as we streamline the department to better serve the citizens of St. Mary Parish,” Smith said of the transfers.
The personnel changes were effective Monday.