‘I think the smile might never come off my face,’ Orleans parish swears in first female, black sheriff in Louisiana

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 9:54 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -A historic event in the city of New Orleans, much less the state of Louisiana first requires a parade.

Riding on the singular float to her swearing-in, Susan Hutson was ushered in with cheers.

“The first black female sheriff in the state of Louisiana, am I correct yes, history-making,” said Flynn Lee.

As a former prosecutor and New Orleans independent police monitor, Hutson was labeled as the progressive candidate, managing to beat out the 17-year incumbent, Marlin Gusman in a December runoff.

Following her swearing-in, it was everyone else she was thanking.

“We want true public safety for everyone. Not just a few. And on December 11, 2021, you elected me as your sheriff. And because of that today, we have a new hope… and even though I’m not from here, as I was reminded over and over and over and over again during the campaign you welcomed me in. You saw through it, and you elected me to be here, sheriff, so thank you,” said Hutson.

On the campaign trail, she pledged more support for Orleans parish sheriff’s deputies, she pledged criminal justice reform... And she strongly opposed plans to expand the jail.

“She has a record of getting into good and necessary trouble for people and she has a record of getting results that we can be proud of,” said District Attorney, Jason Williams.

However, critics question how she plans to accomplish all her goals as they’re not all within her purview of responsibility.

“I talked about all of us growing together in the same direction I’ve got to make the case the city council approved budget the mayor creates the budget the judges run their schedule the clerks do their things we all have to be together the public defenders the district attorney we all have to be able to meet and talk and work together on what we can break up about which I think it’s going to be a lot… I pledge to help them do their jobs and make their jobs easier and I want them to do the same for me,” said Hutson.

Hutson admits she has a lot of work ahead of her, but earning the title of the first black, female sheriff in the state of Louisiana is one of her first achievements.

“I think the smile might never come off my face,” said Hutson.

“We’ve always served in the back as females and now we’re in the forefront and we’re shattering glass everywhere,” said Melody Maddox, DeKalb County Georgia Sheriff.

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