Rapides Parish has a total population of around 132,374 people. The Rapides Parish Police Jury is the governing authority for the Parish which operates under the police jury system as provided by the general laws of the state. The police jury and any office, agency, board, commission, district, committee, subcommittee, advisory board or task force thereof is a public body.
The Police Jury is both a legislative and administrative body. Its legislative functions include enacting ordinance and resolutions, establishing programs and setting policy. As an administrative body, it prepares the budget, hires personnel, spends money, negotiates contracts and in general, directs the activities under its supervision.
Rapides Parish was named after an old trading post before the Civil War that was located at the rapids (a limestone ledge extending across the bed of the Red River above the present day Alexandria/Pineville). In 1723, a small French settlement, Poste Du Rapides was established. When the Spanish took over in 1763, the post was re-named El Rapido. Rapids in the French language is Rapide, which is already pluralized. The ”s” was added after the American Government took over in 1803 and has remained ever since. Louisiana became part of the United States in 1803 and 1805 Alexander Fulton formally laid out the town of Alexandria, naming it in memory of his infant daughter. The same year, the town was named the seat of the newly created Rapides Parish. By 1971, a small community had grown up around the fort (Pineville).
The first courthouse was built in 1820 though little is known about it because federal troops burned down almost the entire town of Alexandria in 1864 and most of the parish records were lost. The present courthouse was constructed in 1939 with various alterations and additions since.
Alexandria, Ball, Boyce, Cheneyville, Forest Hill, Glenmora, Lecompte, McNary, Pineville and Woodworth.
Lake Buhlow, Cotile Lake, Kincaid Lake, Rodemacher Lake, Indian Creek and Valentine Lake
Calcasieu, Little River and Red River
Grant, LaSalle, Avoyelles, Evangeline, Allen, Vernon and Natchitoches