Arnaudville Police Department
The Chief's Blog
The Chief's Blog
The Tide Will Turn
The Tide Will Turn
November 17, 2021
As we enter the holiday season – the season of “giving”, I reflect on the last year as your Chief. It has been a challenging year, both professionally and personally, but because I am a man of faith, I have to believe that my Maker is ultimately in control.
As a Police Chief managing a small rural department, my biggest challenge has been recruiting and retaining quality personnel. Arnaudville suffers the same fate and the same struggles as almost every other law enforcement agency in the country. We must recognize those elements that are impacting our efforts, and fight against some of the negative attitudes and perceptions we get from some of our citizens, from municipal officials, and from within our own ranks. We must acknowledge that there exists leadership that does not have the best interest of our citizens in mind; leadership that often turns its back on the brave and committed men and women who carry the badge and wear the uniform. There are invisible forces behind the scenes who would change the fundamental direction and values we have fought for for generations.
My over two decades serving in law enforcement has obviously been met with moments of challenge – Hurricane Katrina, big city crime, facing the tragedy and sorrow of fallen officers, meeting families of victims, and more – all to be anticipated as a police officer. What I never anticipated was a national movement that vilifies, disregards, dismisses and destroys the lives and livelihoods of decent, honest and hard-working law enforcement officers. A top-to-bottom movement that ultimately results in more crime, more disorder, and more chaos in communities and trauma to innocent citizens. As in every such movement, we always see a course correction, and I am optimistic that we will see the tide turn.
As I reflect on a personal level, I count the many family and friends who have been touched by a global pandemic that left us nowhere to hide and no immunity from devastating loss. My own brother succumbed to Covid-19, as did many of his fellow nursing home residents. Otherwise healthy family members, young and old did not escape the clutches of Covid. Attempting to understand the rationale for restrictions, mandates, and closures left more confusion, division and distrust. Covid took lives, but also took much more from us – our compassion, tolerance, empathy and trust. We are left as cynical, suspicious and mistrustful citizens choosing sides, and isolating and ostracizing those who dare to contradict or question.
But, as we move through all of this, we are left with our faith. Faith that tells us that while we are all on borrowed time, the best is still ahead of us. Life is constantly renewing, evolving and transforming into something better. We only need to wait, because the course will be corrected. The pendulum will swing the other way.
For those who can never see beyond their own selfishness or greed, or who fail to believe life is about giving and not taking, I have pity for them. The misery and hurt they inflict on others will come back to rest on their own souls. For the majority of us, the holiday season - the season of “giving” is but a time when our challenges, our pain and our struggles are overshadowed by the good we can do for others.
Happy Holidays, Arnaudville!
|Posted on May 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM|
There is a concern among our Arnaudville citizens about drugs – use as well as distribution. It’s an issue that embeds itself into our communities as drugs filter into our schools, playgrounds, neighborhoods, and even in people’s backyards. The dealers and users blatantly, and unashamedly, transact their business on side streets, parking lots, and bridges.
Arnaudville, and other small towns have become havens for drug users and dealers, partly due to the lack of resources, the lack of experienced law enforcement professionals, and sometimes weak, and ineffective leadership that turns a blind eye to the growing and often complex problem. Speaking in general terms, police corruption can be a problem, as well. The reputation of a police department becomes a factor that might determine for the drug user/dealer if this might be a place where they can engage in drug activity undisturbed, safe in the knowledge that “no one is looking” or there is no appetite for addressing the problem, or worse – “bad cops” might be easily persuaded with favors and promises of kick-backs to undermine or sabotage efforts to crack down on their enterprise.
Citizens become frustrated as they watch, or are aware of drug activity, but feel nothing is being done about it, or they witness a revolving door for those guilty. Many times we see the perpetrators “walk” due to technicalities and methods used or not used by law enforcement, including evidence gathering, search and seizure protocol, and finally report-writing. Any one of these snafus alone, or in a combination can cause a case to be thrown out.
As the highest ranking law enforcement officer of Arnaudville, I understand the frustration, realize there is a drug problem, and am committed to addressing it. In our effort to tackle the problem, multiple law enforcement agencies on a Federal, regional, and local level must work together to organize successful drug busts. I am aware of the rural police departments’ limitations and restrictions, so I have been about the building of strong relationships with St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Martin’s Sheriff’s Office, as well as other neighboring agencies. As quickly as feasible, our officers are receiving additional training, and as quickly as possible, I am upgrading equipment, establishing protocols and procedures, and providing hands-on leadership. ALL of this preliminary activity will produce for Arnaudville in the long run, the tools necessary to address the drug issue and all criminal elements living and operating among us.
Citizens can assist by reporting drug activity they witness, and hopefully credible and reliable information will help initiate planning and preparation. Drug round up's take time, sometimes six-months to a year's worth of planning if we want to get at the core – the dealer(s). It’s not a run with guns blazing kind of operation. Our best advantages are preparation and planning, and the element of surprise. But even with preparation the element of danger never disappears, forcing officers to consistently bring their "A" game.
Be aware that citizens will not see the planning and preparation; they will not become aware of the time, place and circumstance. In some cases one law enforcement agency may not be aware of another’s activity until it is over, because confidentiality makes the element of surprise work in our favor.
Your concerns are noted. Your concerns are also mine, and are among our priorities going forward.
Categories: The Working Chief