Category Archives: Blue Thoughts

The Christian Police Officer – By: Officer Johnathan Fontenot

I am a Christian, but I am also a Police Officer. The challenges of being a Christian or a Police Officer are in and of themselves diverse, but being both at the same time has proved to be more challenging than I could have ever imagined.

My journey with God began in the summer of 2009. My life was completely transformed, and God gave me an intense desire to know more about him. So, I endeavored to study everything I could get my hands on from Theology to biology, and even cosmology. Even so, I had a desire to make a career in law enforcement. Therefore I started on a degree in Criminal Justice. I knew that it was not required, but I wanted the degree to further my understanding in my chosen field of interest. I eventually started to apply to Thibodaux PD and LPSO, but to no avail. On my second application to Thibodaux PD, I was hired and here I am today as a police officer and a Christian.

 golden badge

     Being a police officer is very challenging because the arena of responsibility is large and diverse, but I will do my best to explain why being a police officer and a Christian is even more challenging.

 

First, most of the people you deal with are not Christians. Whether in the office or on the street, you do not have the advantage of a community of believers. I went on a mission trip to the Philippines for two months, spreading the gospel in eight different locations. It was tough and uncomfortable at times, but I always had my team. I was never alone, and I always had brothers and sisters in Christ who encouraged and rebuked me when I needed it. I do not have that advantage in this profession. I have to make decisions to the best of my knowledge. I am exposed to gross immorality, childlike behavior among adults, drunkards, fights, drugs, and many other things. When I am exposed to these things, there is no pastor by my side to comfort me, I have to be strong and know that God will give me the strength I need to endure with patience all that I see. I have to constantly remember that I live in a fallen world ravaged by sin, but I also must remember that one day sin will be no more. I must keep this mentality, but at the same time I must do my job, investigate what happened, and make a decision on what to do about it. It is no easy task, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 strength

     Secondly, there is the issue of evangelism. As a Christian, I am commanded to make disciples, teaching others to observe all that Christ commanded and baptize in the name of the trinity, but that would not go over so well with my superiors. I can’t run around teaching about Jesus, and condemning citizens for their sinful acts. I cant teach the gospel to every person I meet on the street, or even in the office for that matter. So, what can I do? I like to think of it in terms of a quote I one heard that goes like this, “Evangelize at all times, and use words when necessary”.

 

That really is the solution. I can emulate Christ by my character and treatment of others. In this way, doors to evangelism open up. It doesn’t happen every day, but there have been occasions when I have had the opportunity to give Godly advice or counsel to someone who I arrested, or just ran into on a complainant. I cherish these opportunities because they are few but powerful. Everyone I work with knows I’m a Christian, yet I have only told a select few. It is by my demeanor and my character that others have come to know of my faith in Christ. If you have to tell everyone that you are a Christian, then perhaps you are just not showing it. Of course I have been subject to some opposition, but I know that is to be expected if I endeavor to follow Christ faithfully and boldly.

 faithful

            In closing, being a Police Officer is challenging, the workload can be quite abundant, and not to mention, it is quite dangerous, but I believe with all my heart that God has chosen this path for me. I would not be here if I didn’t believe that I have been directed by the Spirit to do so. Pursuing this job was an act of faith, in which I stepped out putting my trust wholly in God. I love my job. As my chief would be supportive of, I have found my why, it is simply because God said so.

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Some Of My Story…

By: Lt. Eddie Rodrigue

 

I truly believe the reason I am the police officer that I am is because of what my parents instilled in me during my childhood. Growing up in a law enforcement family, both my parents are retired law enforcement, made me open my eyes to the real world. At such a young age, I saw and learned things about the law that most children would never be aware of.  These experiences acted as the foundation for my career.

 

At the age of ten, I was with my dad one night. He got a call about a biker that had gotten into an accident. The call was to search for the biker’s leg. People had been searching most of the day, and had not been able to recover the leg. Jason was our cadaver dog. I went on the call to Fouchon with my dad. My dad started the search at night, in a thunder storm. Not long after the search began, lightening lit up the sky providing just enough light to allow me to see Jason coming out of the marsh with a leg in his mouth. It was very impactful for a child, but it showed me the importance of what my dad was doing.

 

When I was twelve my dad started teaching me how to train police service dogs. We started with a narcotics dog, Topper. For the next few years, with my dad’s guidance and Topper’s help, I learned how to train dogs.

 

When I was sixteen, someone broke into a house on Christmas day in Larose, and stole the family’s Christmas presents. K9 was called to do a track. I went on this track with my dad, and we were able to recover and return all of the stolen presents. I remember the smiles on the children’s faces when their presents returned. I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratification seeing their smiles; knowing I had a part in it.

 

By 1998 I was a K9 police officer. Around 2000, a tornado hit a boat in Bayou Bouef and threw a teenage female in the lake, resulting in her drowning. This was my first cadaver recovery. This stuck with me, being a teenager myself. Bringing the girl home to her family gave me fulfillment; out of a terrible situation, I helped them find some closure.

 

In 2003, I returned to pro rodeo for a short time. I was rodeoing in Pennsylvania when I saw a K-9 officer working his dog. This made me think about how I missed working my dog and the brotherhood of law enforcement. I returned to law enforcement with the Thibodaux Police Department shortly after.

 

In December 2006, Sgt. Roland Gilllout and another female officer from Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office were both ambushed and shot.  The two suspects, from Georgia, fled the scene in a stolen pick-up truck. The truck was located in a wooded area in the St. Charles Community. This area was a short distance from where I grew up learning from my father how to work a Police Service Dog. When I arrived in the St. Charles community, me and my K-9 partner, Cee, were assigned the primary tracking team.  When we started the track no one knew which way the suspects fled.  K-9 Cee was able to determine the direction the suspects fled.  Numerous agencies arrived and assisted us with establishing a perimeter. With the help of the tracking team that was with us, we were able to track the suspects through the thick swampy area.  We flushed the suspects from the wooded swampy area. The suspects were taken into custody by Lafourche Parish Crisis Management Operators.

 

Once the suspects were taken into custody, I was able to collect my thoughts.  I was amazed by the team effort from all the officers involved that morning.  It was at this moment that I realized why I was a Police Officer, and needed to belong to the “The Thin Blue Line”.

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The Investigator

By: Captain Kyle Cressione

It’s no secret that the patrol division of a police department is the nucleus of its operation. Patrol officers investigate crimes until they are redirected to other responsibilities, or no longer have the means or time to continue the investigation.  This is where the investigative divisions come in; it was why they were created.

Detective

The investigator is best described as a patrol officer with very specific training, along with time and assets to complete an investigation in greater detail.  With experience, an investigator will adapt to a more tedious process of investigation, becoming more methodical.  The investigator will identify the smallest details of a crime, and use those details to increase the probability of solvability.  The best investigators are those who dedicate themselves to their task.  There is a sense of ownership and responsibility to tell the story.  For example, on the scene of a homicide, often times no one is present or even able to disclose what events transpired.  The family of the deceased deserves to know what has happened to their loved one.  It is the goal of the investigator to uncover the events that led up to their loss.  Primarily, the responsibility may be to identify a suspect or to present facts to the judicial system, but those are not the only reasons an investigator is dedicated to an investigation. They tell the story to the family, often times providing closure to the hurting.

facts

Many patrol Officers request to transfer to the investigation division, but quickly opt out when they realize the overwhelming amount of responsibility, additional documentation, and the necessity to continuously remain tenacious.

Some may see an emotionless investigator scrambling around the most horrific crime scenes. Actually, the investigator carries what they see for the rest of their life; trying to compartmentalize the images because there is no time to waste during an investigation.  An investigator understands that his emotions, whether sorrow, anger, fear or disbelief is secondary to the importance of his duties.  They take a back seat to the task at hand.

There are investigations that are less of a priority, but equally important to the investigator.  The victim of any crime believes that their case is the most important.  On some occasions the victim has never experienced crime, and the slightest disruption in their perception of a perfect world causes them to feel that they have been terribly violated.  As an investigator, it must be understood that to some people a minor crime may feel like a big ordeal.  The victim doesn’t care that you are investigating several cases at once, and that you are repeatedly being interrupted to satisfy the curiosities of every person involved.  A favorable outcome is expected and it is the responsibility of the investigator to quickly and efficiently serve the public.

service

The personal life of an investigator is also demanding.  A companion might ask why their significant other is always working.  Countless hours of separation, and the confidential nature of the job demands that certain aspects of an investigation are better left on the job.

No one will argue that the duties and responsibilities of an investigator are demanding, but the work must go on. There are rewards for your efforts.  Sometimes you get a heartfelt thank you.  However, the greatest reward may present itself as only a smile or just the personal sense of accomplishment.  You may never speak to the family of a homicide victim, but when the judge bangs the gavel and the verdict is guilty – it makes it all worth it.

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