We believe in “Fix it before it breaks.” This is the focus of so much of our work geared toward steering the youth of our parish away from a life of crime.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” ~ Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895
As Sheriff of St. John Parish, I have worked diligently to fulfill my campaign goals despite many distractions in my first term:
Mandatory CPR Certification
When I took office in 2012, each and every officer underwent Basic CPR certification. Each new member of the department gets certified upon hire. All first responders should be able to administer basic first aid and CPR should they be the first to arrive on the scene of a citizen in need of medical assistance.
Random drug testing
Each officer that applies for employment in my administration is drug tested upon approval of his/her application or following any accident on duty. Random drug testing will be implemented as budget constraints allow. This job calls for officers who are of sound mind and body at all times. The use of illegal drugs or prescription drugs that inhibit your ability to do your job safely or cloud an officers’ judgment of any situation, will be highly discouraged by random testing throughout the department.
Health and fitness continues to be a goal of our department. Our HR department has successfully implemented an annual Health Fair with health screenings and information available in one setting for officers. And with the recent donation of all of the workout equipment from a fitness center that was closing, our officers have the opportunity to exercise free of charge in our own facility.
Cultural and Sensitivity training
This specific type of training has been limited by budget constraints, but continues to be part of my goal for the future of this department. I feel that all officers should undergo periodic training on the ever changing diversity of victims and perpetrators alike. Officers would benefit from training that will help them to adapt and properly handle any situation without offending any citizen regardless of race, gender, age, culture, religion or sexual orientation.
Citizen Review Board
The first ever Citizen’s Academy was held in April of 2017 and was a huge success. More than 20 private citizens attended 9 weekly sessions for 2-3 hours each week in order to learn all about the behind the scene inner workings of law enforcement. Each department is given the opportunity to present it’s specific task and the citizens participate in virtual reality exercises used for training officers. The review board that chooses our Officer of the Year is chosen from these trained private citizens.
Text messaging alert
SJSO has its first ever cell phone app for iPhones and androids. Citizens can receive alerts regarding road closures, interstate or road closures due to traffic accidents and any important information regarding real time law enforcement emergencies. Please go to the SJSO website to download the app.