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Louisiana. They strive to keep each and every one of us safe everyday. And today they celebrated their 75 year history, at their headquarters in Baton Rouge.
The 28th is the day State Police was effectively created by then Governor Huey P. Long in 1936. It’s been 75 years full of challenges for the department, but they’ve always stood strong.
“We’ve got a colorful past. We’ve been involved in a lot of different things. What remains true here today is the integrity of why we wear this badge,” says State Police Superintendent, Colonel Mike Edmonson.
Integrity and the service of current, former, and fallen troopers were honored at Wednesday’s ceremony.
“State Police is responsible for developing me into the law enforcement man I am today. The discipline, the organizational skills, the experience,” explains St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, who retired from State Police in 2005.
Chris Guillory was promoted to the rank of captain on Wednesday, and effective immediately will serve as commander of Louisiana State Police Troop D in Lake Charles.
When he received news of the promotion, Captain Guillory said, “I am humbled by Colonel Edmonson’s decision to promote me. I look forward to increasing cooperation with area law enforcement agencies to advance the common goal of keeping our citizens safe. It is also very important that we continue our efforts to reach out to youth in our community.”
Troop D encompasses the parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis in Southwest Louisiana. The troop area covers over 5,000 square miles and over 5,400 highway miles.
Using his sense of smell along with his teeth, a Sparks K-9 police officer is being credited with catching a hiding suspect who authorities say had run from them and into a trailer storage yard Saturday.
The Sparks K-9 officer is identified as Rocky, a Belgian Malinois from the Netherlands, who joined the Sparks Police Department in September 2005, along with Cimbo, a German shepherd.
The suspect, being pursued on foot as part of a stolen vehicle investigation, was named by Sparks police as Duane Randall, address unknown.
“Officers were unable to see where Randall was hiding,” Sgt. Marlene Cleveland said via news release. “Several verbal commands were given for Randall to come out from under the trailer or the K-9 (Rocky) would be sent after him. Randall refused to obey the officer’s commands, and the K-9 was sent to apprehend him.”
“The K-9 was able to pull Randall from his hiding place by biting Randall on the left arm,” Cleveland said. “Randall soon became compliant and the K-9 was called back. Officers were able to detain Randall without further incident.”
Just a short time earlier, a perimeter had been established with the Rocky assisting with the search of the yard off Franklin Way.
Saturday’s events started unfolding shortly before 10:30 a.m.
Sparks officers had been flagged down by a person whose vehicle had been stolen in the area of East Greg Street and Franklin Way in Sparks, Sgt. Cleveland reported. At the same time, the victim was on the phone with 911 advising that he had located his stolen vehicle and that he had followed it.
The suspect, later identified Randall, was last seen running from the scene in an unknown direction, police said.
“Officers searched the area and were able to locate fresh footprints in the snow near 1750 Franklin,” Cleveland said.
The footprints led officers to an opening in the chain linked fence into the trailer storage yard, she said. “Officers also located items which Randall was discarding from his pockets as he ran. Some of those items were unspent high powered rifle rounds.”
The person contacting authorities about the stolen vehicle was able to positively identify Randall as the person driving the stolen vehicle, police said. The person had reported the vehicle stolen from his Reno residence earlier in the day.
Randall was transported by REMSA to Northern Nevada Medical Center, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries to his left arm. He was released from the hospital and booked into the Washoe County Jail on suspicion of a possession of stolen vehicle, obstructing, as well as several misdemeanor warrants, police said.
A CLOSER LOOK
Though they’ve been in Sparks a few years now, the police dogs are trained to respond mostly in the languages used in their native countries.
“Most of Rocky’s commands are in Dutch, and most of Cimbo’s are in a combination of Czech and German,” Rocky’s handler, Officer Jason Edmonson, said in the story. “We’re also able to use them, put them in situations that make it less dangerous on officers… .The dogs’ sense of smell is amazing, the narcotics they find… .”
“Without them, we’d be spending a lot more money on man-hours and overtime trying to get the job done,” Edmonson said.
The dogs are good at sniffing out illegal drugs and helping police on patrol find suspects.
Rocky and Cimbo are getting to be quite well-known in the Sparks area. As with mounted horse patrols in other communities, Sparks’ dynamic canine duo are popular with area residents.
“We do demos, especially for schools,” said Officer Glenn Marsh, who handles Cimbo. “Kids love seeing them. We have done demos for church groups and all kinds of groups. We try and go out to special events.
“We socialize our dogs a lot,” Marsh added. “We like the public to come up and say hi to the dogs, and see that they are not crazy dogs like a lot of people think. They are just a working a dog.”
By David Jacobs
State Police spokesman Sgt. Markus Smith said 10 to 12 troopers from each troop in the state will be working today through Tuesday night with officers from the New Orleans Police Department. Smith said the troopers were requested by city officials.
The 120 troopers, he said, represent about the same number the state has deployed to New Orleans for several years.
“They will be patrolling the French Quarter, principally, and on parade routes, ” in plainclothes and in uniform, Smith said.
State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson said the state is committed to insuring “a safe Mardi Gras experience for all of our state’s citizens and its thousands of visitors. In addition to our traditional support provided to the city of New Orleans, I have deployed troopers in communities across the state to stand shoulder to shoulder with out local and parish law enforcement partners for this year’s Carnival season.”
Smith said troopers in the Troop L region, which covers the Northshore, will be out in force assisting local police agencies with traffic control in Bogalusa, Covingtion, Mandeville, Folsom and Lacombe. Troopers assigned to Troop C in the Houma area will assist with seven parades there this weekend.
An exact count of how many troopers will be working longer hours or special details for the weekend was not available.
Edmonson said that motorists traveling to and from parades can call *LSP (*577) from cell phones to report emergencies or dangerous drivers. The number will connect the caller to the nearest State Police troop, he said.
The Louisiana State Police Training Academy held graduation for State Police Cadet Class 90 on Aug. 8 at the Louisiana State Police Training Academy Auditorium in Baton Rouge. Twenty cadets from across the state took their official oath of office as they begin their careers of dedication, protection and service to the citizens of Louisiana.
In addition to honoring the newest troopers, State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson made a special presentation to the keynote speaker for the ceremony, retired Louisiana State Trooper Bobby Smith. Smith was shot in the face while performing his duties in 1986 with only three years on the job. The resulting injuries caused him permanent blindness. Since leaving the State Police, Smith has written two books, founded and currently serves as the director of FORTE (Foundation for Officers Recovering from Traumatic Events) and is a motivational speaker who routinely speaks to public safety agencies around the country about how to deal with traumatic events.
State Police Cadet Class 90 also recognized Louisiana National Guardsman Danny Titus, brother of graduating State Police Cadet Matthew Titus. Edmonson will present Danny Titus with the American flag that flew over the Training Academy throughout the cadets’ training. Titus was injured when a roadside bomb exploded while he was stationed in Baghdad in 2004.
Following is a list of graduates from Cadet Class 90 who have been assigned to St. Tammany Parish-based Troop L: Damien J. McAlister, August C. McKay III, Russell E. Sibley Jr. and Paul S. Strickland.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Twenty new state police troopers will graduate Friday morning from the Louisiana State Police Training Academy.
As part of the ceremony, the agency’s superintendent, Colonel Mike Edmonson, will make a special presentation to retired trooper Bobby Smith, who was shot in the face while on duty in 1986. The injury permanently blinded him.
Since leaving state police, Smith has written two books, founded an organization for officers recovering from traumas, and become a motivational speaker.
Edmonson will also honor Louisiana National Guardsman Danny Titus, brother of graduating cadet Matthew Titus. Edmonson will present Danny Titus with the American flag that flew over the Training Academy throughout the cadets’ training.
Titus was injured when a roadside bomb exploded while he was stationed in Iraq in 2004.