St. Charles sheriff begins fourth term
Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2008
By ROBIN SHANNON
LULING – With his family by his side and various parish officials in the audience, St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne was sworn into his fourth term in office at a small ceremony Thursday.
Fifth Circuit Judge Edward Dufresne delivered the oath at high noon at the VFW hall for Post 3750 in Luling.
“It’s not often that we swear a sheriff into his fourth term,” said Dufresne to the crowd on hand. “It hasn’t happened in St. Charles in over 50 years. He must be doing something right.”
Although his term doesn’t officially start until July 1, Champagne said the ceremony was scheduled a week in advance so that he can attend the National Sheriff’s Conference in Indianapolis next week.
After taking the oath, Champagne spoke with excitement about the term ahead. He spoke briefly about several initiatives he is looking to implement in the months ahead. He said his office would be specifically targeting a crackdown on sex offenders and drug crimes throughout the parish.
“We are going to do things better,” said Champagne. “Our office has a motto that says we are never completely satisfied, there is always somewhere we can improve.”
Champagne told the audience that even though he has served St. Charles as sheriff over the past 12 years, law enforcement was not his first career choice.
“What I really wanted was to be a baseball player,” said Champagne. “But I only batted .250 out of high school, so figured I would look elsewhere.”
Champagne also said he had aspirations of being an airline pilot before getting into a private practice law firm, and eventually law enforcement.
“I’m happy where I am,” said Champagne. “It never gets old.”
Following his inauguration, Champagne had the duty of swearing in the large collection of deputies, who were on hand for support. He said all deputies, regardless of how long they have been on the force, must be sworn in every four years. He said Thursday’s festivities were a perfect opportunity to get many of them taken care of.
In addition to the deputies and several other St. Charles Sheriff’s Office personnel, Parish President V.J. St. Pierre, Councilmen Dennis Nuss, Terry Authement, and Billy Raymond, and Councilwoman Carolyn Schexnaydre were also in attendance for the inauguration.