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Dominic Massa / EyewitnessNews

Voters in St. John the Baptist Parish approved a quarter-cent sales tax increase Saturday to fund the sheriff's office.

Complete but unofficial returns show the tax increase passing by 827 votes, or 60 to 40 percent.

This was the second time Sheriff Mike Tregre attempted to pass the tax increase. Voters rejected it last April.

'I'm determined to make St. John Parish safe, and with this quarter cent sales tax, which will generate an additional estimated $2 million more a year, it will be going directly towards salaries and benefits, more manpower, and crime cameras,' Tregre said Friday.

Tregre said if the tax increase passed, he would hire eight new deputies immediately, in time for the holiday shopping season.

'When you come into St. John Parish, I want you to see a police car. When you're leaving St. John Parish, I want you to see one of my units. When you're shopping, coming out of bsinesses, groceries churches.'

Tregre also wants to double the number of crime cameras to 90.

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