Sheriff’s Office collects record amount – 147 pounds of prescription medications and other drugs turned in by residents in drug take-back day; Can also call SBSO to arrange collection of old
Several people said Saturday, Sept. 26, they were glad to see the Sheriff’s Office holding a drug take-back day at the Walgreens in Chalmette in conjunction with federal drug authorities because they didn’t know what else to do with medications they didn’t need any longer but also didn’t want to fall into the wrong hands.
“We’ve been waiting to do this,’’ Julie Eschette of Chalmette said as she turned over expired and no longer needed prescriptions to the Sheriff’s Office to be destroyed. “You don’t know what to do with them. We didn’t want to just throw them away” because they could be found and abused.
Authorities also say prescription drugs shouldn’t be flushed in a toilet because the water eventually ends up in marshes and can affect seafood and wildlife.
A record amount of prescription and other medications were turned in at the drug take-back event, some 147 pounds in four hours, Sheriff James Pohlmann said, thanking everyone who brought in drugs they didn’t need or want any longer.
“This has been a great partnership with Walgreens which provides us space in their customer parking lot to collect the drugs,’’ the sheriff said “The 147 pounds collected from the public means those pills and other drugs never reach the streets to be abused, often by young people.’’
Studies show young people usually start abusing pills by stealing them from medicine cabinets at the homes of relatives or from parents of friends, he said.
Sheriff Pohlmann also assured people that they can call the Sheriff’s Office at any time to make arrangements to have prescription medications collected to be destroyed and don’t have to wait for an official drug take-back day.
Call the Narcotics Unit on its drug hotline number at (504) 271-DOPE, which is 271-3673, and an officer will either answer or call you back to make arrangements for a pick-up, he said. Call the same number to anonymously report illegal drug activity you believe may be taking place in the parish, the sheriff said. All calls will be acted upon.
Charles Mengel, store manager for the Walgreens at Paris Road and Judge Perez Drive, and his staff took part in the event with narcotics officers, while representatives of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also visited.
It was the tenth time in five years the Sheriff’s Office has taken part with DEA in a drug take-back day. Nationally, about five million pounds of drugs were collected in the previous nine events.
Maj. Chad Clark, who commands the Sheriff Office Special Investigations Division which includes the Narcotics Unit, said the drug take-back day is aimed at “trying to reduce the risk of addiction and the 46,000 deaths across the country each year that come with prescription drug abuse.’’
St. Bernard Parish has been successful in lowering the number of drug overdose deaths in recent years due to several factors including the drug-take back days, education programs taught in schools by sheriff’s officers and vigorous enforcement of drug laws, Clark said.
Movie production company filming on Tuesday. Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will result in loud noises in 1800 block of Bayou Road
Loud noises coming from the 1800 block of Bayou Road from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, will be from a movie production company filming the firing of artillery pieces, the company involved is warning.
Roots Productions, LLC, will be filming in the 1800 block of Bayou Road in cooperation with the St. Bernard Film Commission, the parish Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office.
Residents with particular concerns are advised to call Gerard Sellers, assistant location manager, at (504) 453-2451 or Ryan Fink of the parish Film Commission at (504) 650-1010.
Annual children’s workshop and safety event to be held at Chalmette Home Depot on Sat., Oct. 3, 9 a.m. to noon, with Sheriff’s Office, Fire Dept., State Police and an antique auto club displaying items
An annual children’s workshop and safety event will be held at the Chalmette Home Depot store on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, featuring games and face-painting, food and special items displayed from local agencies including the Sheriff’s Office, the Fire Department, State police and an antique auto club.
Children of all ages, accompanied by parents or guardians, can participate in the free annual event, said officials at the Home Depot store on West Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette.
The session includes workshops where children are shown how to make things.
Special items will also be on display for children. Sheriff James Pohlmann said various equipment will be shown by the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office including its popular bomb robot, airboat and SWAT truck.
Parish Fire Department officials said they will bring a safety house to show kids how to drop and roll on the floor to escape smoke in a burning building. Acadian Ambulance Service and the American Red Cross will also take part.
Also, an antique auto display will again be held in the parking lot.
Sponsors of the event include Raising Cane’s, Gerald’s Donuts and Coca-Cola.
National Night Out Against Crime to be held Tuesday, Oct. 13; Call 278-7628 to register a party and a sheriff’s deputy will come out to give crime prevention tips and answer questions
On Tuesday, Oct. 13 the 32nd annual National Night Out Against Crime will be held across the country and it is still a fixture in St. Bernard Parish.
The sheriff urges parish residents to call Capt. Charles Borchers at (504) 278-7628 to register any gathering of people being held that night and a sheriff’s deputy will be sent to provide crime prevention tips.
“Its still a good way for people to show they want to fight crime in their neighborhood and have their questions answered by a sheriff’s deputy who knows the parish,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“We have also seen a good response to our decision four years to move National Night Out from its past dates in early August to mid-October,’’ the sheriff said. “The weather is so much more pleasant and fun for families to be outside with others.”
Sheriff Pohlmann added, “We encourage getting together as a way to show that people have taken a stand against crime and intend to watch out for each other’s property.’’
Some 30 group events were held in St. Bernard last year, some at churches and public places as well at private homes.
The sheriff said St. Bernard is doing well in the fight against crime, evidenced by extremely low numbers of violent incidents – especially random incidents involving people who don’t know one another.
The sheriff reminds everyone that if you see something suspicious happening in their area they should quickly call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 and try to give a description of people and vehicles involved. Narcotics activity can be reported either to the same number or anonymously to the sheriff’s drug hotline at 271-DOPE, which is 271-3673. All calls will be acted upon.
Capt. Borchers, who also heads the Reserve Officers Division, Neighborhood Watch programs and coordinates the free classes held for Citizens Police Academy, said Night Out Against Crime remains a good way to get to know neighbors.
“St. Bernard needs everyone to pull together to remain a safe place to raise a family,” Borchers said.
Borchers can also be called at 278-7628 to organize a Neighborhood Watch group or sign up for the next free session he holds on “Refuse to be a Victim,’’ which gives personal safety tips for parish residents.
National Night Out Against Crime is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and was introduced in 1984 to strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts.
Last year’s National Night Out campaign involved more than 30 million nationally, including residents, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses and at military bases.
State Police investigating the injuring of a sheriff’s deputy and shooting death of the suspect in Chalmette
State Police are investigating the injuring of a A St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputy and the shooting death of the suspect in an incident at the entrance of a mobile home park in Chalmette on Tuesday afternoon.
State Police spokesman Trooper Evan Harrell said the officer was struck in the back of the head with an object and suffered lacerations and was knocked to the ground. The suspect was shot and killed in the incident that happened about 2 p.m. at Andres Street and East St. Bernard Highway at the entrance of a mobile home park.
The name of the man killed hadn’t been released. The officer was taken to a hospital in Chalmette where he was treated and later released.
The incident remains under investigation, State Police said.
Sheriff’s Office participates in statewide day of prayer for law enforcement officers, with five ministers speaking to groups of officers and other employees
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office participated in a statewide day of prayer on Monday for law enforcement officers, with five ministers speaking to groups of officers and other employees.
Sheriff James Pohlmann said he appreciates any effort at asking people to support law enforcement and consider the price too many police officers have had to pay at the hands of murderers.
“We are so fortunate to be in the situation we have in St. Bernard Parish where the community has always supported law enforcement,’’ the sheriff said.
Gov. Bobby Jindal declared Monday a day of “statewide prayer for law enforcement,” in the wake of numerous recent officer deaths across Louisiana and other states.
The resolution asked Louisiana citizens to “petition the Lord to provide comfort to Louisianans, understanding to families affected by these tragedies, and protection to all law enforcement as they selflessly serve in the face of danger each day.”
Five ministers, Aaron Johnson, Jerry Troxclair, Jim Jeffries, Henry Ballard and Fr. Lance Campo spoke to sheriff’s deputies and other employees of the Sheriff’s Office at five locations on Monday as part of the day of prayer.
A tip phoned in to the Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest just before 5 p.m. of David Rutledge, 58, and he faces 10 counts of attempted murder as well as arson charges, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Rutledge was arrested outside a residence in the 4400 block of Genie Street in Meraux by agents of the Special Investigations Division.
The arson fire occurred in late August.
Rutledge will be held as a fugitive until returned to St. Tammany Parish for prosecution.
Incumbent James Pohlmann wins second four-year term as sheriff of St. Bernard Parish as no one files to run against him on October ballot
Incumbent Sheriff James Pohlmann won a second four-year term as sheriff of St. Bernard Parish unopposed when no one filed to run against him by the end of the three-day qualifying period on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, for the October election.
“I am honored to have another four-year term as sheriff of a great parish,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said in the Courthouse lobby after the qualifying period ended and he was being deluged with congratulations from well-wishers.
“I think people in this parish have confidence in their Sheriff’s Office because of the job done by the men and women of this department.’’ He continued, “I knew at the end if the day I’d be graded on the job they do in this parish.’’
“We pride ourselves on a good response time to calls from the public and promise that if you need us we will be there as quickly as possible,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said, pledging to continue that as the top priority.
The sheriff also vowed to continue an emphasis on training of deputies to keep the Sheriff’s Office a professionally run organization.
The next term begins July 1, 2016.
James Pohlmann has been with the St. Bermard Sheriff’s Office for 32 years since starting at the age of 18 in 1983, working for then-Sheriff Ralph McDougall.
He moved up the ranks in Sheriff Jack Stephens’s 24-year tenure as sheriff, eventually becoming Chief Deputy, then running for sheriff and winning in a run-off election in 2011 when Stephens retired.
As Chief Deputy and later sheriff, Pohlmann inaugurated several new and free programs for the public and advanced training programs for deputy sheriffs.
Under Sheriff Pohlmann, for the first time uniform hiring and promotion procedures were established including creating a hiring board consisting of veteran deputies to interview and review applicants for employment and make recommendations. The sheriff also realigned the department’s command structure.
Sept. 11 – Fifteen St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies recently graduated a 90-hour Corrections Division course in Peace Officers Standards and Training, or P.O.S.T., dealing with working in a prison environment or Juvenile Detention Center.
P.O.S.T. Corrections is aimed at preparing deputies for their careers in Corrections. Topics covered in the training include defensive tactics, use of pepper spray which involved each deputy being pepper-sprayed to deal with its effects, booking procedures, writing reports and other aspects of working in corrections.
Shown are members of the class and two instructors from the Corrections Division: from left standing, Lt. Dennis Morgan, an instructor; officers Lamont Dersone, Andrew Palmeri, Ethan Herlle, Sarah Perkins, Colin O’Brien, Jessica Edwards, Derrick Cuccia, Stephani Alfonso, Joseph Hirstius,
Karleen Noel, Cyle LaFerrara and Cpl. Brandon Lewis, an instructor. Kneeling are Jordan Zulli, Joel Porretto Jr., Emelio Gomez and Kevin Nguyen. Not pictured are two others from the Corrections Division who served as instructors, Capt. Adrian Chalona and Capt. Andre Dominick.
Sheriff’s Office partners again with Walgreens in Chalmette on Saturday, Sept. 26, for a Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the store parking lot;
With an average of 110 Americans dying each day from prescription drug overdoses, St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann is urging residents not to let their unused prescription medications such as pain-killer pills fall into the wrong hands.
Instead, turn them in to the Sheriff’s Office prescription drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26 in a partnership with the Walgreens pharmacy in Chalmette at Judge Perez Drive and Paris Road. The take-back, in the store parking lot, is being held in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
“Don’t let young people get hooked on pills they find while visiting you,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said, and “don’t throw medication in the garbage where it can be found or down the toilet where it can end up affecting wildlife or seafood in marshes.’’
“Instead, bring any medication you don’t use to us so it can be destroyed properly.’’
The effort is important, the sheriff said, because studies show young people often abuse prescription drugs after stealing them from medicine chests at the homes of relatives or at parents of friends.
Agents from the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division, commanded by Maj. Chad Clark, will be at the store to receive all forms of prescription medication, which will be turned over to DEA to be burned.
Residents are reminded they can also call the sheriff’s 271-DOPE hot line (271-3673) at any time they want to turn in prescription drugs between official drug take-back days. A Narcotics Unit agent will call them back to make arrangements.
Also, residents should call the same number to anonymously report any suspected illegal drug activity. All calls will be acted upon.
The Sheriff’s Office has participated for several years in the national drug take-back day and locally it was the Sheriff’s Office that began its own take-back day in 2009 called “Operation Medicine Cabinet,’’ which encouraged residents to clean out their medicine cabinets of old prescription drugs and turn them in to the department.
Walgreens has partnered with the Sheriff’s Office to take back drugs the past several years.