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St. James schools, sheriff team up

Rebecca Burk Ellis / L’Observateur / July 6, 1998

LUTCHER – St. James Interim Superintendent Walter Landry and SheriffWilly Martin are working together to improve the schools and want the school board and the public to know it.

The two will go before the board Thursday night and ask permission to work together in planning a resource officer program.

Martin said only one resource officer will be manned in the beginning because only one deputy on his force has gone through the proper training to do the job. But another will soon begin training, so the long-range planis to have a resource officer at both of the two high schools.

In the meantime, Martin said the one trained resource officer will just alternate back and forth between schools.

The Sheriff’s Office will also have the permission to do four random drug interdictions in the parish without the permission of the school or central office administration.

Landry said any interdictions after that he would be asked and choose the school.

“We want to start this off as a pilot program, mimicking others in the state,” Martin said.

The Sheriff’s Office and school system have also been working cooperatively on many other programs, which they will continue with the new interim superintendent. Some of these programs are bicycle safetyweek, Special Olympics, highway safety enforcement in school zones, lessons for bus drivers, junior deputy program and DARE.

Landry said the approvement of the board will curtail the amount of permission grants the board has to give on cooperative efforts between the Sheriff’s Office and the school system. “They would be giving us carteblanche,” he said.

Landry also wants to have similar agreements with the parish president and Parish Council and the Louisiana Vocational and Technical School in Thibodaux.

He said the proposal to work with the parish president and council will be presented at a meeting in the future, but the one dealing with the vo-tech school will be presented Thursday along with the Sheriff’s Office proposal.

Martin doesn’t see how the board could disagree with the proposal.

“Basically, with what we are working on, they can’t help but support us,” he said.

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