Tregre: ‘Thank yous’ fuel police relations

Published 12:01 am Saturday, August 13, 2016

Recently, it seems I turn on the television and death is always near.

If not a citizen, then a cop or worst of all, more than one cop. When I’m at work citizens tell me, “I could not do your job but please do not stop fighting to keep us safe.”

Or they say, “We are praying for all of your officers. Stay safe.”

I have heard more comments like this recently than I have in almost 30 years in law enforcement.

I attended all of the funerals of the officers killed in Baton Rouge, along with several officers from our department. We heard wonderful stories about how they cared about life, family, community and our country.

To hear about their lives outside of police work was motivating.

It was also amazing to see citizens standing outside in almost 100-degree heat and one day even with a severe rainstorm for hours waving thousands of American flags all along Interstate 10.

As we try to move back to some sense of normalcy in St. John, the citizens have felt the need to show love and appreciation to the officers who work the beat. Our department has been treated with donations of breakfast, lunch, treats, notes and prayers for our safety as we work to keep our parish safe.

One resident actually set up her kitchen with a full meal for officers at her table. And one by one officers filed into her dining room on that Saturday afternoon to share a meal together and with her and her family.

Our wellness program is not going well right now!! But we did get ONE fruit tray last week.

For those who choose to wear the badge, the blatant killing of police officers causes many to rethink their chosen profession, and rightfully so. Improving community relations is and has always been my goal as your Sheriff.

I constantly remind officers of the golden rule that we treat others the way we want to be treated. These recent events make it extraordinarily challenging all across the United States, including St. John. This fight between good and evil is totally unpredictable and ongoing.

So as usual, I am asking for your help. I need you to continue to be a team with our department to continue to remember that we are the good guys and we are here to protect anyone who needs our protection.

So, when you see an officer just say, “hello” with a smile or even a handshake.

This small exchange, believe it or not, gives them courage and strength to continue to deal with getting guns and drugs off our street and attempting to reduce violence.

We at SJSO appreciate all of the support and prayers. This used to be a thankless job but YOU have changed that in St. John Parish.

So, I would like to say, “Thank You” for all of the random acts of kindness that we recently received. We cannot let the enemy divide us.

Finally, school has started (thank goodness)! So please be aware of kids at the bus stop, school zones, school crossings and busses stopping. And for the record: Go Wildcats! Go Comets! Go Rams! Go Rebels!

Mike Tregre is sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish. He can be reached at