Jay Russell was sworn in as Sheriff of Ouachita Parish on July 1, 2012.
Russell is a graduate of NLU (now ULM) and the FBI Academy. He began his 28 year career in law enforcement with OPSO at the Ouachita Correctional Center under Sheriff Laymon Godwin. He was then moved to the Patrol Division and later promoted to corporal becoming a Field Training Officer.
Russell’s service also includes working with two police departments, serving as a patrol officer for the West Monroe Police Department and the Farmerville Police Department.
Under Ouachita Parish Sheriff Richard Fewell, Russell was promoted to the rank of major, responsible for the Uniform Patrol Division, Communications, Training, SCAT, Truancy and the DARE program.
In 2007, Russell was promoted to OPSO Chief Deputy where he served until he was elected in October of 2011 as the new Ouachita Parish Sheriff.
One of Sheriff Russell’s new programs is being implemented to help reduce the number of incarcerated youth offenders. The mission of this program, Deputies Making A Change (DMAC) is to mentor youth who are at risk of being expelled from school or incarcerated.
DMAC will promote: personal and academic achievement, economic self-reliance and encourage responsible citizenship. DMAC will partner with businesses, faith-based communities and schools to help foster a long-lasting, positive relationship with law enforcement and these at-risk, eight to thirteen year old students.
“By mentoring these students, we can show them how other students have improved their personal skills and habits in order to be able to achieve better results in the classroom and in sports as well as improved interaction with other students, teachers and family,” said Sheriff Russell.