Today 41 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana are governed by a Police Jury. Parishes may choose to operate under what’s known as home rule authority, which gives them the right to choose other forms of government to operate with such as a consolidated government where the parish government is consolidated with another city government. Currently, 23 parishes operate under home rule charters.
Under the Police Jury System, the Police Jury is required to establish the size of its body. Police juries in parish populations having more than 10,000 must have no less than five members and no more than 15 members. In parish populations of less than 10,000, police juries must have at least three members. To qualify for Police Juror, a person must be at least 18 years old, a resident of the State for the past two years, and have a residence for a period of one year in the same police jury district they would like to represent. Once these qualifications are met, a vote by the majority of residents in their respective police jury district would be needed to secure the elected office. The term of a Police Juror is four years.
The general responsibility of the Police Jury is to perform and maintain duties associated with the executive and legislative branches of parish government. The authority of the Police Jury extends to all territory in the Parish which lies outside of an incorporated city, town, or village. Some responsibilities of the Police Jury apply to citizens within incorporated areas of the Parish as well.
- Enacts ordinances and sets policies.
- Oversees the parish budget and improvements programs.
- Holds twice monthly meetings to address issues and concerns in the community.
- Responds to constituents' concerns at neighborhood meetings, through written correspondence, and telephone communication, and staff assistance.