St. Bernard sheriff’s deputies working proactive patrols in Arabi the night of March 20 arrested a man who had a gun when he fled from officers, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Ronald Francois, 21, was one of twin men in dark clothes looking into windows of businesses in the 6700 block of St. Claude Ave. in Arabi when seen by officers. The businesses they were looking in were closed at the time and all lights were off.
When the two men saw the marked sheriff’s unit they both turned and walked away from the officers, who approached them to do a pedestrian stop and exited the marked unit in full uniform , Sheriff Pohlmann said.
One subject fled on foot and was chased by Lt. Lee Morgan and Sgt. Brad Nuncio west on St. Claude Ave. The subject, identified as Francois, retrieved a dark colored handgun from his waistband as he turned east bound on Maris St. Sheriff’s officers set up a perimeter to locate Francois.
He was located in a vacant lot on Mehle St. and was taken into custody. Officers then conducted a search of the area and found a handgun matching the description of the weapon Francois was seen with.
Francois was transported to St. Bernard Parish Prison and booked with charges of Illegal use of a weapon and resisting an officer.
Sheriff’s Office to help hold a regional training class for the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, on May 14-15 in Chalmette to educate people about disaster preparedness;
Today, the closest to that is the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, which is under the overall umbrella of U.S. Homeland Security. In St. Bernard, CERT is sponsored in conjuncture with St. Bernard Parish government through a Homeland Security grant.
Sheriff James Pohlmann said the Sheriff’s Office will help hold a free regional training class for CERT volunteers on May 14-15 to educate people about disaster preparedness. The sessions are at the Val Riess Sports Complex in Chalmette, 1101 Magistrate St. Times are from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days and the training, all materials and lunch provided both days are free.
Sheriff Pohlmann said adults interested in receiving the training should call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 278-7628 to register.
“The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that could impact their area,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “It gives them specific training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.”
Using the training learned in the classrooms and during exercises, CERT members can assist others on their neighborhood or work places following an emergency event when professional responders aren’t immediately available to help.
“No one wants to think about something bad happening but you have to be prepared,’’ the sheriff said.
The concept of civilian auxiliaries is similar to the old Civil Defense, well known during war time. The CERT concept differs somewhat because it includes non-military emergencies, and is coordinated with all levels of emergency authorities, local to national, via an overarching incident command system.
Agencies involved in putting on the CERT event include the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, the St. Bernard Fire Department, the St. Bernard Port, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Bernard Parish Hospital and the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security.
Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Stephen Ingargiola graduates prestigious FBI National Academy in Virginia; more than 20 St. Bernard deputies are graduates
St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Dep. Lt. Stephen Ingargiola has compiled an impressive list of professional achievements in recent years.
A Meraux native who has been in law enforcement since 1998, Ingargiola said, “I like to be multi-faceted.’’
And his career so far proves that. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2014 and is now a member of the Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team, its bomb squad, dive team and underwater explosive recovery team.
Ingargiola also recently earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration and is working in a master’s program at UNO.
So he could easily look at his recent graduation from the prestigious FBI National Academy in Virginia as just one more achievement.
But the 11-week FBI session was special to him, he said, representing the attainment of a long-time goal and a key advancement in his law enforcement career.
“The FBI Training Academy was huge for me,’’ Ingargiola said.
“It was a humbling experience, an opportunity to represent the Sheriff’s Office and our community.’’
“I learned a lot there, including from the 239 classmates I had from 15 countries and every state,’’ Ingargiola said.
“The National Academy is a good experience. What you gain you bring back to your department,’’ he said.”I made a sacrifice to be away 11 weeks but in return I brought back knowledge I can use for a life time.”
“I believe it will make me a better cop,’’ Ingargiola said of the FBI session “and I believe the National Academy has given me the opportunity to advance in this department’’ in St. Bernard.
Ingargiola added, “I look forward to being a part of this department, hopefully to the end of my career.’’
Sheriff James Pohlmann, a graduate of the FBI National Academy, said Ingargiola was a good choice to send there from St. Bernard, joining a list of more than 20 officers from the department who have experienced the FBI program.
Ingargiola said that being in such a law enforcement intense environment re-enforces your own feelings that “you are capable of doing the job,’’ a confidence that helps you be a good leader for the people under your command.
Ingargiola, who has worked in the Patrol Division and Special Operations in St. Bernard, said that from being around a diverse group of other police officers at the FBI National Academy you see that everyone faces the same challenges in law enforcement whether you work in a large department or a smaller one.
From international classmates you hear about some things you may not have experienced in this country, Ingargiola said. “In our class we had a guy from Paris who had dealt with the terrorist attacks there.’’ And, he said, there was a woman officer from Nigeria who had experience battling terrorists.
A Metairie man arrested in $90,000 theft involving a utility trailer in Arabi containing spray foam equipment
A Metairie man has been arrested for a $90.000 theft last October of a utility trailer in Arabi containing spray foam equipment, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
He was even using the stolen equipment to do a job spray-foaming at a house in eastern St. Bernard Parish when arrested Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Alberto Moran-Hernandez, 21, was booked with theft after sheriff’s Det. Ryan Melerine obtained a warrant from a judge for his arrest following an investigation, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Moran-Hernandez, who was out on bond for a similar arrest in Kenner last December, was being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of bond set at $15,000.
The large closed utility trailer involved in the latest arrest was stolen Oct. 23 of last year at Tyler Construction in Arabi. The trailer was spotted several days later by a state Wildlife and Fisheries agent in the marsh area off Interstate 55 at Manchac.
The owner of the trailer said it was completely gutted and all spray foam equipment and tools inside were stolen. The loss was estimated to be at least $90,000.
St. Bernard sheriff’s detectives developed information which led to the arrest of Moran-Hernandez, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Sheriff James Pohlmann said his department continues training for possibilities that everyone involved hopes will never have to be dealt with – an armed intruder in a public area, a business, school or government building.
“It’s a question of being prepared in advance for what could happen, while hoping it doesn’t happen,’’ the sheriff said. “In today’s environment, it’s the preparation that’s crucial.’’
Recently, the Sheriff’s Office Strategic Weapons and Training team, or S.W.A T. team, has been undergoing response training to armed intruder situations, most recently at the Parish Courthouse in Chalmette. They have also trained at the Civic Center, at an abandoned school site and will soon use the parish government building for similar training.
Under the supervision of S.W.A.T. commander Lt. Robert Norton, they have worked on tactics for clearing buildings by room searches.
“It’s good to look at floor plans of buildings,’’ Norton said. ‘but you have to physically go through a building and do it with repetition to build muscle memory’’ so officers are sure in their reactions.
At the Courthouse, it was unusual to see officers carrying weapons on the building’s iconic stairwells on both sides of the lobby. The S.W.A.T. trained throughout the building, including the main Courtroom upstairs, smaller courtrooms, the lobby, judges’ chambers and the Clerk’s Office.
Afterwards, Norton said he felt confident S.W.A.T. team members would work well together if there was an intruder situation.
More than 100 youngsters and numerous volunteers including some from the Sheriff’s Office took part in St. Bernard Special Olympics at Chalmette High
Under perfect skies, more than 100 youngsters from public schools and numerous volunteers including some from the Sheriff’s Office took part again in St. Bernard Special Olympics held Friday at Bobby Nuss Stadium at Chalmette High.
This 7th annual event was open to Special Education kids eight and over and included activities such as throwing balls for distance and racing.
St. Bernard Parish deputies have been there since the Special Olympics became an annual event in the parish school system.
Sheriff James Pohlmann attended and several deputies participated in the opening ceremonies and parade, then helped with putting on individual events for the young athletes.
Department members also take part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics each year, held in May on the weekend of the statewide Special Olympics which take place in Hammond.
Sheriff’s Office trying to identify two men shown on video stealing $1,200 of jeans from a Chalmette store on Feb. 25; Call (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111 with information
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office is trying to identify two men shown on video stealing $1,200 of jeans from a Chalmette store on Feb. 25, Sheriff James Pohlmannn said.
Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
The men entered the store on Paris Road about 7 p.m., stayed inside only about 20 seconds, then turned and stripped 24 pairs of jeans from racks and ran from the store, escaping.
Distinguishing features of the men included they both wore beards and one wore a tan dress jacket while the other wore a green T-shirt over a long, black undershirt and had on a baseball cap.
Several employees noticed the thieves and they are shown on a video system.