Tommie Woods, a retired 35-year Ruston Fire Department veteran and local EMT trainer, today announced his candidacy for the Lincoln Parish Police Jury District 2 seat.
The District 2 seat is currently held by Hazel Hunter.
Noting his decades of involvement with city, town and Parish firefighting and emergency response organizations, Woods said one of his priorities if elected will be to ensure that local and Parish fire department and emergency medical technicians have the funding, equipment and training necessary to ensure public health and safety.
“People may not realize that we have 24 fire stations in the Parish – City, town and Parish departments – and they provide absolutely vital services, both directly and in support of other departments,” Woods said. “So, ensuring a readiness to respond and an ability to work together is extremely important to protecting the residents of Lincoln Parish.”
Woods described himself as a “community-minded public servant,” who has the time and desire to be an effective Police Juror focused on listening and responding to his constituents and working to build stronger ties between Parish communities.
A graduate of Ruston High School and Louisiana Technical College, Delta-Ouachita, Woods is a certified EMT trainer, a member of the Board of Directors of both the Health Hut and the Louisiana United Churches Coalition, which is focused on mentoring young men against crime.
Woods also serves as Chairman of the Board of Deacons of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, is a member of the Ruston Kiwanis Club, and works closely with the Boys and Girls Clubs and Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office, cooking at their events.
He played baseball at Ruston High, and later attended a rookie camp for the Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals, where he secured a professional baseball tryout, but decided to remain in Ruston for family reasons.
“I’ve lived and worked in this Parish my whole life, and my wife Charlotte and I raised our four boys here,” Woods said, “so I believe I can be a very strong voice for District 2 on the Police Jury, and also help restore some transparency and accountability to Police Jury decisions.”
Woods said that in addition to fire-related issues, he believes the Police Jury should pay more attention to the condition of Parish roads and bridges, and explore options for a more coordinated trash collection system that does not rely on large dumpsters, often overflowing, on the sides of Parish roads.
“With an annual budget of $30 million in taxpayer money, a staff of 150 people, and a range of responsibilities that touches every aspect of Parish infrastructure, we need a Police Jury that is proactive and addressing real Parish needs,” Woods said. “I believe I can bring that kind of focus, and I am asking the voters of District 2 to support me and help bring a fresh voice to our Police Jury.”