On July 1, Mark Garber became the 27th Sheriff of Lafayette Parish.

It was a long wait for Sheriff Garber to take the reins as he was elected to the position in December of last year. But, he’s hit the ground running and he made the most of that transitional period.

“I had full access to the sheriff’s office,” explained Sheriff Garber to Rob Kirkpatrick and Bernadette Lee of “Acadiana’s Morning News.” “I actually had an office in the main building. So, the transition was anticlimactic in a lot of ways, and it was a big relief in a lot of ways for not only my administration but the staff across the board at the sheriff’s office. It’s hard on everyone to wait that long to switch over…I’m glad we’re past it. We’re rolling really fast now. Morale is high and we’re accomplishing a lot.”

In his discussion with Rob and Bernie, he described how his office has been able to put more deputies on patrol without hiring more deputies and without sacrificing important programs.

Sheriff Garber also touched upon the current climate in which law enforcement officers have been targeted and how they are responding to it.

“It doesn’t really change our mindset except to make us more determined,” said Sheriff Garber. “There’s not any hesitancy on the part of law enforcement in Acadiana to address the threats and to be there to protect the public. This is domestic terrorism. They (who he calls terrorists) don’t get it. We’re not going to stop protecting the parish. We’re not going to stop protecting our home turf. Because the police live here. We’re a part of the community… But what we will do is we’ll change our tactics and become more difficult to take out. We’ll become more harder to kill. And that’s the mindset of our deputies.”

Sheriff Garber, in addressing that concern, did discuss areas of need in the department, such as body armor and cars that need to be marked up.

As they wrapped up the conversation, Sheriff Garber also praised his new warden of the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center, Cathy Fontenot, who he described as “Superwoman,” and how they are “making a better inmate.”