A loss of jobs in the area has led to lower sales tax revenue.  That combined with increased costs for insurance are being blamed for the 26 layoffs at the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office.

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal's 26 layoffs amounts to 9 percent of his payroll expenses at the Sheriff's Office. The layoffs become effective as of September 25, 2016.

Sheriff Ackal says increases in all insurance coverage for the department, including liability, vehicle and health insurances meant he has had to comb over the budget to look for any areas that can be cut. Office personnel make up most of the lay-offs.

Ackal says he will continue to look for any savings he can, and he will renegotiate or cancel any contracts as is possible to save money.

Another big change that has been announced is the reorganization of the department due to the fall in revenue.

The Sheriff says there will be transfers, reduction in rank for some officers and detectives moved to patrol, all in an effort to reduce the costs of running the Sheriff's Office.

In his release to the media, the Sheriff says he, "regrets the layoffs but deems them to be necessary to reduce and eventually eliminate the budget deficit."

He says the jail will remain staffed as is mandated by the state, and the patrol division will be fully staffed to provide law enforcement in city and Iberia Parish.