River Parish LEOs proudly roar

Published 11:54 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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RIVER PARISHES—LEO is an acronym that means Law Enforcement Officer. Our local LEOs had several reasons to be proud last week.

On March 16, twelve officers graduated from the Peace Officer Standards and Training program (POST) conducted by the Kenner Police Department’s Training Academy in Kenner.

St. John Parish Sheriff’s Deputies Antonio Craig, Jesus Rodriguez and Ryan Edwards were recognized as certified Peace Officers. Sheriff Mike Tregre gave his congratulations saying, “I am proud of these officers for their successful completion of this rigorous and intense training.”

St. James Parish Deputy Jules Lachney and Deputy Gordon Wiest were also among those graduating.

Deputy Lachney excelled in Class #21. Voted as Class President, he was also awarded the Top Gun Award by having the highest qualifying score. Additionally, he received the top award for the class. Deputy Lachney was awarded the Michael Louviere Award.

This award is given to the cadet who excels during the 20 weeks of training. It is in honor of Officer Michael Louviere of the Westwego Police Department who lost his life in the line of duty on January 20, 2017. Officer Louviere attended the Kenner Police Department Academy in 2015 and was awarded several awards on his graduation day. Deputy Lachney was presented this award by Officer Louviere’s wife and two children.

The program included training in firearms, physical fitness, Louisiana criminal and traffic law, writing reports, conducting interrogations and general investigative techniques.

March 14 brought the 38th Annual Crimestoppers Awards. Darlene Cusanza, Crimestoppers president and CEO, presented various awards to officers for outstanding community service and exceptional police work.

St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne announced that Lieutenant Roanne Sampson and Sergeant Keysla Perrilloux were honored in being selected to receive Crimestoppers Deputy/Officer of the Year.

Lieutenant Sampson and Sergeant Perrilloux are assigned to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Programs Division. They work together to lead many great programs that focus on the youth in St. Charles Parish. They constantly look for new programs and events to benefit and empower youth.

Roanne and Keysla build positive relationships and create trust with the youth in St. Charles Parish and that helps not only reduce crime but also provides the youth with much-needed life skills. Roanne and Keysla also collaborate with community partners to offer a variety of programs and services some of which are St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Venturing Crew Girl’s Camp, St. Charles Parish Youth Rally, St. Charles Parish Believe in Youth LA, St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Community Garden, and our GREAT Program (Gang Resistance Education and Training). They make a difference in the life of every juvenile they meet.

Sheriff Champagne said, “I am very proud and appreciative of Roanne and Keysla for their efforts and dedication to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and to the citizens of St. Charles Parish.”

Sheriff Champagne continues, “law-enforcement is about more than just arresting people. Without planting the seeds in our young people that they can live productive and crime-free lives with value, we would not be truly serving society. Lieutenant Sampson and Sergeant Perrilloux are changing the lives of young people one at a time.”

St. John Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brian Kennedy Jr. was also honored, receiving the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust-Crimestoppers Deputy of the Year Award for outstanding service to the community.

In January 2023, Deputy Kennedy was named the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office’s 2022 Deputy of the Year. While off duty, he played a major role in helping to save the life of a man who was experiencing medical distress while driving and crashed into a canal along a roadway in LaPlace. Deputy Kennedy administered CPR until emergency medical services arrived and transported the man to an area hospital where he was treated and later released.

Major Julie Scioneaux, from the St. James Sheriff’s Office, was presented with the deputy of the year award. Scioneaux was recognized for her commitment and service to her community, department, and St. James Parish.

Scioneaux is often requested to speak throughout St. James Parish on topics of public safety, juvenile matters, crime prevention, victim assistance and more. On any given day she can be found giving career advice to young officers and frontline supervisors.

St. James Sheriff Willy Martin said, “The respect she has earned from her peers is unquestionable and our agency is better because of her leadership.”

Scioneaux currently serves as Chief of Operations and 3rd in Command. She also is the Sheriff’s Office’s in house legal counsel.

CrimestoppersGNO utilizes a 24-hour a-day anonymous tip hotline. Since its inception, Crimestoppers GNO has assisted in solving more than 16,300 felony crimes and paid out more than $2,201,000 in rewards.