Sheriff’s Office participates in the Knights of Nemesis, which paraded in Chalmette for the 11th year
Beads and shouts of “Throw me something’’ filled the air on Saturday, Jan. 31, as the Knights of Nemesis paraded in Chalmette in near perfect weather, with the Sheriff’s Office playing an integral role.
It was the 11th year of parading for Nemesis, which started the year after Hurricane Katrina.
Sheriff James Pohlmann rode in the parade, as well as several units from the Sheriff’s Office, including the mobile command post, instructors from the D.A.R.E. anti drug program and McGruff the Crime Dog, portrayed by Greer Cuccia of the Sheriff’s Office.
Officers aboard the command post regularly posted parade location updates on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
There were no major incidents during the parade.
A Chalmette man believed to be systematically passing counterfeit $20 and $10 bills in Chalmette stores and the French Quarter in New Orleans has been arrested and printing devices and numerous fake bills were seized, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Elbert Kruse, 31, who lives on Chalona Drive, was booked Jan. 29 with monetary instrument abuse and with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
He is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison pending an appearance before a judge to have bond set. Kruse has several past arrests for marijuana possession.
The sheriff said authorities have been receiving reports from store officials about small amounts of counterfeit bills being passed.
“It’s good work to arrest someone like this who obviously has no concern about business owners he may hurt financially,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
One Chalmette store reported receiving a counterfeit bill on Jan. 29, which led to sheriff’s detectives developing information implicating Kruse, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
During the investigation, printing devices were seized and several hundred dollars in fake $20 and $10 bills were recovered, along with trimmings left from where he had made other bills, the sheriff said.
Lt. Bobby Norton, new SWAT team commander for SBSO, has returned to the agency where he began after spending 25 years with NOPD; Now he is blending new members into the team with 60-hour training school he developed
He has returned to the Sheriff’s Office where he started in 1986 and was employed until 1990 and he is now commander of the Special Weapons And Tactics team, or SWAT.
In the intervening time after he left, Norton spent 25 years with New Orleans Police, retiring last year after heading their SWAT team and later Special Operations. He was on the NOPD SWAT team from 1990-2000, commanded SWAT in the city for two years until 2012, then was commander of NOPD Special Operations for three years before retiring in 2015.
Now Norton, named a lieutenant by Sheriff James Pohlmann, is blending new members into the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team with a 60-hour training school he developed. And they are training in public buildings and eventually schools to be prepared to react to any possible incidents.
SWAT units are tasked with carrying out high-risk operations that would normally be outside of a regular law agency’s capabilities. Those roles can commonly include dealing with:
– an active shooter, such as a shooting spree
– barricaded suspects
– hostage rescue scenarios
“The Number 1 goal of any SWAT action is to peacefully resolve a situation,’’ said Norton. “And you do that through repetition of training.’’
Norton has put together a 60-hour school of SWAT training which covers:
– establishment of a perimeter
– negotiation technique
– entry into a building or other space
– less than lethal options available
– an active shooter situation
– riot control
– weapons nomenclature
Norton has been using his 60-hour training program to blend eight sheriff’s deputies who haven’t been on a SWAT team before into a cohesive unit with about 15 officers who are veterans of the SWAT team.
The goal of training the eight in-house in Norton’s school is continuity across the SWAT team, rather than sending them to various other training programs.
The eight new members have been working at the Civic Center in Chalmette, the old Gauthier school building in the Poydras area and a facility in eastern New Orleans, as well as classroom sessions at the Sheriff’s Office training center behind the Parish Courthouse in Chalmette.
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the public to identify a suspect shown on a surveillance camera and is believed to have burglarized two Chalmette businesses early Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Sheriff James Pohlmann said anyone with information about the suspect should call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
Two businesses in the 400 block of West Judge Perez Drive, just blocks from Paris Road, had windows broken and were burglarized during the night, the sheriff said.
A St. Bernard Parish narcotics investigation led to a car pursuit of a subject into New Orleans on Monday night after the man fled from outside a residence in Arabi, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
The wanted suspect struck the Claiborne Avenue Bridge and another vehicle in traffic before his car became disabled and stopped at Claiborne near Franklin Avenue, where the man – who was alone – fled on foot but was captured by a St. Bernard Parish sheriff ‘s deputy who had given chase, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The officer,,whose name wasn’t released, suffered a leg injury and lacerations in the pursuit on foot and struggle in which the suspect was arrested. He was taken to University Hospital.
A portion of Claiborne Avenue was closed by New Orleans Police because of the incident which began about 7:20 p.m.
The suspect, identified as Chaz Davis, 26, who was living in Arabi, was not injured, authorities said. He was wanted on a warrant alleging marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He will be booked on additional charges resulting from his fleeing after being spotted in Arabi.
Davis was seen on a street in Arabi where he and his girlfriend live, the sheriff said.
Davis fled in a vehicle, striking an officer who tried to stop him, but didn’t injure the deputy.
Sheriff says be alert for phone scams during tax season; A St. Bernard resident reported two men called pretending to work for the Internal Revenue Service and threatened to arrest her over a tax debt
With income tax season at hand, Sheriff James Pohlmann said St. Bernard Parish residents should be alert for phone scams involving attempts to make them pay money over non-existent tax debts.
An Arabi woman reported Jan. 21 that that two men called pretending to work for the Internal Revenue Service and threatened to arrest her over a tax debt.
They wanted her to meet them with the money they said she owed but the woman filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office over the incident, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“Please don’t be intimidated into giving someone money for a debt you don’t owe,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “If you really owed the government taxes the process wouldn’t be handled in this manner.’’
Nearly every year as the April 15 deadline approaches for federal income tax returns to be filed someone reports an attempted scam on them, the sheriff said.
Look for Knights of Nemesis parade location updates Saturday, Jan. 30 on Sheriff’s Office Facebook page; Think about safety on parade routes, Sheriff Pohlmann advises residents as they celebrate Mardi Gras
Also, Sheriff Pohlmann advises residents to have a plan and think about safety on parade routes in St. Bernard and any other parish as they celebrate Mardi Gras
A sheriff’s deputy on board the department’s Mobile Emergency Operations Center which leads the parade will post regular location updates of Nemesis on the Facebook page after it starts in Chalmette at 1 p.m. Photos from along the route will also be posted, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“This will be our third year doing this during the Knights of Nemesis parade and people seem to like the updates of where the parade is,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“We hope spectators, especially children, find it fun and helpful to know when the parade will approach them,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The department’s mobile command post, acquired through a federal grant, is a great vehicle and is perfect for leading a parade, the sheriff said.
The mobile center will coordinate the running of the parade as well as road closings as it moves along the route, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The vehicle also leads the Irish, Italian, Islenos parade in Chalmette and location updates are also posted on the Facebook page for that.
Sheriff Pohlmann also reminds parish residents to have a plan and think about safety on parade routes as they celebrate Mardi Gras in St. Bernard and other parishes.
“Have a great time with your family or friends at any parades you may choose to attend for the Mardi Gras celebration held in various parishes,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “But remember to think about your personal safety and the safety of your children and ways to avoid becoming a victim of crime while you are distracted by having fun.’’
Tips to keep children safe:
Watch children carefully and never leave them unattended, the sheriff said. It can be easy to get separated in a crowd.
Make sure a child knows their name, cell phone number for a parent or guardian, and their address. If they do not, write it down on a card or piece of paper, place it in a pocket and make sure they know to find a police officer and give them this information if they become separated from you. Show them a near-by officer on the street or introduce them to the officer so children know an authority figure to go to if necessary.
Also, choose a spot for everyone in a group to know they should go to if anyone becomes separated.
Do not let children climb on top, over or under barricades, Sheriff Pohlmann said. If children are using ladders to see parades, make sure the ladder won’t topple over or get pushed over by a crowd and throw a child or adult under a float or other vehicle. To help do that, it is safest to place a ladder as many feet away from the street curb as the ladder is high.
Avoid carrying or displaying large amounts of cash in a crowd; instead bring only some cash, a credit card and I.D. in a side pocket, with no wallet, and don’t wear expensive or “flashy” jewelry. Wallets in back pockets or jewelry make you the target of professional thieves and pick-pockets.
Never accept a drink from someone you do not know because it may have been spiked with something to drug you.
Be aware of your surroundings and have a plan in the event you are separated from others in your group. If you are visiting make sure you know the address and location of friends’ home.
Be careful where you park or you could come back and find your vehicle towed.
Drink alcohol responsibly and always carry identification.
17-year-old Chalmette male arrested in accidental shooting of 16-year-old girl, who is hospitalized; shooter held on $25,000 bond
The victim, Emma Colmenares, is hospitalized at University Hospital in New Orleans with a bullet wound behind her right ear.
Andrew Carroll, 2317 Pecan Drive, was showing the handgun to the 16-year-old victim and a 14-year old girl just before 6 p.m. in the back yard of his residence when the gun went off, striking the victim in the face. Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The victim initially walked to the home of a relative on Riverland Drive and called authorities.
Carroll was booked by sheriff’s detectives with negligent injury, illegal use of a weapon and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. He is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on bond set Tuesday at $25,000.
Sheriff’s Office and St. Bernard Parish government offices to close for the Martin Luther King Day holiday on Monday
All non-emergency offices of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office and parish government will close Monday, Jan. 18 for the Martin Luther King Day holiday.
Offices will re-open on Tuesday, January 19.
Cold weather boating calls for taking special precautions and knowing effects of wind on tides, sheriff says
If people get stuck on the water as temperatures are dropping their survival could be at stake if they haven’t taken some basic steps before going out, the sheriff said.
Most problems on the water involve a boat breaking down, getting stuck on a mud flat – especially after rapid tide drop caused by winds – or the boaters getting lost, Sheriff Pohlmann said. Sometimes there are also medical emergencies on board.
“While St. Bernard Parish can be a paradise for those who like to boat in cold weather for fishing or hunting purposes it calls for planning in advance, including taking precautions for emergencies and being aware of the effects of winds on tides,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“Don’t get caught out on the water in cold conditions without being prepared for an emergency or it could cost you dearly,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The sheriff said people who boat in cold weather must, before they leave, tell someone specifically where they will head out to and when they will be back.
And they must carry fully-charged cell phones, signaling devices and carry extra dry clothing or blankets, food and liquids, the sheriff said. Bringing something to start a fire with in case a boater gets stranded in the marsh on a cold night could also save someone’s life, he said.
The members of the Marine Division, its commander Capt. Brian Clark and Cpl. Shane Lulei, are the ones who go out to find and rescue people who are lost or having problems on the water. They often work with the Coast Guard, state Wildlife and Fisheries agents and the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office to help boaters.
“It’s all about planning’’ when cold weather arrives, said Clark, a 25-year veteran of the state Wildlife and Fisheries Department before taking over the post in St. Bernard.
Clark’s advice: “You have to pay attention to the weather and check equipment’’ before you leave in a boat.
“You want to look at forecasts for anything involving expected winds from the West, Northwest, Southwest or North,’’ Clark said. “Be prepared for cold fronts with winds causing rapid tide drop’’ that drain the marshes. “You can expect a 1-4 foot drop in heavy winds.’’
Because people who boat often try to fit it in around their work schedules they sometimes don’t take time to check on expected weather changes, Clark said, and can get caught in bad situations. “They may try to get out on the water when they can’’ and not see if weather or wind changes are coming, he said.
Lulei said the Sheriff’ss Office airboats or its 22-foot and 24-foot boats are used for search and rescues, including going into low water marsh situations.
Those heading out by boat should follow simple precautions:
– Tell people where you are going and when you are expected back and try not to deviate in case a search is required.
– Have the right safety gear aboard including a wearable flotation device for each person in case the vessel capsizes or someone is thrown overboard.
– Carry at least one flotation device that can be thrown to someone who falls into water and always use that instead of jumping in after them. In a panicked state, a person suddenly in the water can bring someone down with them.
– Always have a signaling device such as a flare or at least a working flashlight. A push pole is good to carry in case you need to try to get off a mud flat.
– Carry a fully-charged cell phone and pay attention to surroundings so you can accurately describe where you are. If possible, carry a device to re-charge a boat battery if needed.
– Dress warmly and bring liquids and food as well as blankets or extra dry clothing, and always have something that can be used to start a fire in the marsh to provide heat if necessary overnight.