Tickets on sale for Livingston Economic Development Council annual meeting, former sheriff to be honored | Future

The Livingston Economic Development Council will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, February 10 at Forrest Grove Plantation.

The meeting will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tickets to attend are $23 each and can be purchased by emailing or calling (225) 686-3982. The deadline for RSVP is Tuesday, February 8.

During the meeting, the Livingston Economic Development Council will recognize former Livingston Parish Sheriff, Willie Graves, as this year’s recipient of the Bob Easterly Award, given for his contribution to economic development in the parish.

A longtime resident of Livingston Parish, Graves served as sheriff from 1996 to 2012, expanding the department as the parish’s population grew rapidly.

He began his career as a deputy and was later elected sheriff after his father, Odom Graves, retired.

The sheriff’s office grew in staff under Willie Graves, from 12 people in 1956 to 260 in 2012. He created a K-9 division with dogs trained for drug apprehension and detection; started a full-time narcotics division; a Special Response Team (SRT) for hostages and other crisis situations; built and staffed a training center; and added an automotive division to handle accidents and traffic.

Graves created an aviation division after donating two helicopters to the sheriff’s office, and he also increased the number of deputies responsible for juvenile offenders and river patrols.