Archives: May2018

SBSO SEEKING SUSPECT IN ARMED ROBBERY

Posted: May 25th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating and identifying a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred Friday, May 25 at Ponstein’s Food Store, 3523 Paris Road in Chalmette.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said shortly before 11 a.m., a male subject entered the convenience store, purchased nachos and a 16 ounce Budweiser beer with a twist top and then brandished a handgun and demanded cash from the register. The suspect, who left with approximately $200 in cash, fled the scene in an unknown direction on foot.

Sheriff Pohlmann said no one was injured in the incident.

The suspect is a black male, with a thin build and braids similar to cornrows. He was seen wearing a gray long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans and a khaki baseball hat.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s identity, his whereabouts or further information regarding this incident is asked to call the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers GNO at (504) 822-1111. Tipsters who call Crimestoppers can remain anonymous, do not have to testify and could be eligible for a cash reward.



In observance of Memorial Day

Posted: May 24th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office administrative offices will be closed on Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day. The administrative offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 29.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrests a 17-year-old and two juveniles for stealing a pick-up truck

Posted: May 24th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrested a 17-year-old from Chalmette and two male juveniles from eastern St. Bernard for stealing a pick-up truck, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Ryan Lewis, 17, of the 3500 block of Packenham Drive in Chalmette, was arrested on Wednesday, May 23, along with a 16-year-old Violet boy and a 15-year-old boy from Meraux.

Lewis and the two juveniles were each booked with one count of theft of a motor vehicle for stealing a 2005 Ford F-150 from the 400 block of West Solidell Street in Chalmette.

The three were identified by detectives after one of them posted on social media a video of them riding in the truck.

Lewis was transported to St. Bernard Parish Prison where he is being held on a $10,000 bond. The two juveniles are being held in the St. Bernard Parish Juvenile Detention Center.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Investigation Discovery show

Posted: May 24th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

 

Tune in to Investigation Discovery Channel’s show The Last 24 on Friday, May 25 at 9 p.m. central time to see how St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office detectives in 2012 solved a 30-year-old murder case involving the owner of a Pet Cemetery in eastern St. Bernard Parish.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office prepares for 2018 hurricane season

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

Should a storm threaten our area this hurricane season, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office has thousands of sandbags already made by prisoners for use by residents, businesses and parish government.

With the beginning of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season nearing, and the possible threat of some tropical weather this weekend, Southeast Louisiana residents should begin making plans so they can be prepared if a storm threatens our area.

Preparing for hurricane season, which runs June 1 through Nov. 30, should be something residents in our area are accustomed to doing, St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

“We should always be mindful of being prepared for hurricane season,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Remember, we are so close to the Gulf of Mexico, you can’t ignore the possibility of a hurricane.”

With that in mind, Sheriff Pohlmann said, the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is ready to respond in case there is a storm threatening our area and possibly forcing the evacuation of the parish.

The department has a plan in place, which Sheriff Pohlmann said includes several boats at the ready, and a high-water truck that would be ideal for rescue or to haul personnel or equipment to respond to a storm.

Acquired through a federal grant in 2013, the Sheriff’s Office’s custom-built F-650 truck, which has a 37-inch lift and air brakes, is an important asset for hurricane season.

“It’s meant for high-water situations,’’ such as street flooding from heavy rains, the Sheriff said.

There also are thousands of sandbags already made by prisoners for use by residents, businesses and parish government. Plans also are in place in the event prisoners would need to be evacuated, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

In addition to equipment, Sheriff Pohlmann said various departments within the Sheriff’s Office have plans in place and are ready to execute them if need be.

For instance, members of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team train on various types of boats from the sheriff’s Marine Division in order to be prepared to immediately patrol neighborhoods in case of any type of rain event flooding.

“If parish government orders an evacuation of residents in any approaching storm we will facilitate that and then lock down the parish to prevent non-residents from entering,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

To be successful in preparing for a storm, Sheriff Pohlmann said residents need to do their part as well.

“That’s true for every family in this parish,’’ the Sheriff said. “Don’t wait until you hear a bad storm is approaching before you think about being prepared, such as whether or not you will leave and where you would go, if necessary.’’

By preparing now, Sheriff Pohlmann said, you can avoid the rush at home supply stores and supermarkets, which always get crowded and run out of things as hurricanes or tropical storms approach.

“Don’t wait until the last minute,” the Sheriff said. “Have things like flashlights and batteries, bottled water, and medications on hand where you can easily find them if leaving becomes necessary.”

If you can afford it, Sheriff Pohlmann recommends stocking up on these items in the event you chose to stay during a storm and lose electricity for more than a day.

Anticipating the needs of older relatives and deciding what to do with pets if you had to leave, also are things to consider. The Louisiana ASPCA says pet-owners should never leave them behind when they evacuate because the animals would be at the mercy of the storm.

In the event of an ordered evacuation, Sheriff Pohlmann said officers will make extra patrols through neighborhoods, as well as by boat along waterways if necessary, to protect property in the parish.

“We don’t want residents making a bad decision to stay simply out of concern over a possible burglar,’’ the Sheriff said.

Residents are encouraged to heed the advice of local officials when it comes to deciding to evacuate or ride out a storm.

“It reduces the need for search and rescue operations if there was actual flooding in a storm,” the Sheriff said, “and it reduces the possibility of the loss of life.”

Another way citizens can prepare for hurricane season is to stay informed.

Residents can register for the parish’s FirstCall Emergency Notification Service which provides timely information about hurricanes and other high profile events occurring in the area. These alerts will go to landlines, cell phones, SMS text messaging devices, email and pagers. For more information, or to register, visit the St. Bernard Parish Government website, sbpg.net.

St. Bernard Parish residents with special needs or those who have no resources to evacuate themselves are eligible for assistance in evacuating should a mandatory evacuation be called in the parish, either due to a hurricane or another type of emergency which might arise.

Residents can register with the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness by calling (504) 278-4268. Information also is available at sbpg.net. Click on Departments, then Homeland Security, then Special Needs Registration.

In the event of an approaching storm, here is a checklist of items you will want to have on hand in a basic emergency supply kit:

  • Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Can opener
  • Eating utensils
  • First Aid kit
  • Cash
  • Several complete changes of clothing and footwear per person
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Bedding or sleeping bags
  • Fire extinguisher (small canister ABC type)
  • Bleach (no lemon or other additives)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Tarp, rope, and duct tape
  • Toiletries including toilet paper
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Sunglasses

For families with infants, remember bottles, formula, diapers, wipes, powdered milk and medications.

For adults and others with special needs, don’t forget medicine, such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin, prescription drugs, denture needs, contact lenses and supplies and extra eye glasses.

For pets, bring their ID tag, a photo of pet for identification purposes, a week supply of food, water, medications, and your veterinarian’s phone number. Don’t leave your pet behind. Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets. Check with hotels in safe locations and ask if you can bring your pet.

Entertainment, especially for children, is important as well. Pack books for adult readers and for children, board games and/or other games that do not require batteries or electricity.

Also, remember to bring your important records in a waterproof, portable container. Include insurance papers or account numbers, an inventory of household goods, checks and credit cards, family records such as birth, marriage and death certificates, and important telephone numbers.

Taking photos of your home and its contents before you leave is also a good idea for insurance purposes.

Sheriff Pohlmann hopes this season will be a quiet one for St. Bernard Parish, but it’s best to keep a watchful eye and think smart.

“Let’s hope for the best, and prepare for the worst,” the Sheriff said.



St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office hosts gathering for Reserve Division Deputies and their families

Posted: May 21st, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann, right, attended a celebration held May 20 at Docville Farm to honor members of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division.

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office held a celebration May 20 at Docville Farm in Violet to show appreciation to Reserve Division deputies – unpaid, volunteer officers who supplement the department’s police force in specific situations.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputies were honored May 20 at Docville Farm for their dedicated service.

A celebration was held May 20 to honor members of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

The barbecue was held at Docville Farm in Violet to show appreciation to Reserve Division deputies – unpaid, volunteer officers who supplement the department’s police force in specific situations.

Capt. Charles Borchers, commander of the Reserve Division, said Reserve officers work during large scale events such as festivals, parades and athletic events throughout the parish, as well as performing extra patrols at local businesses during the busy holiday shopping season.

During the gathering, Sheriff James Pohlmann visited with two dozen Reserve Deputies and their families, and thanked them for their devoted, selfless service.

“We couldn’t do what we do so efficiently without the help of our Reserve Division deputies,” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “They are a valuable asset to this department and we appreciate their dedication.”

Also in attendance was Bill Haines with the Meraux Foundation, which graciously offered the use of the facility for the event.

Capt. Borchers said the Sheriff’s Office is always looking for new Reserve Division applicants.

“You do not need a background in law enforcement,” Capt. Borchers said. “We provide all training and supply uniforms as well.”

Reserve Division deputies attend an 80-hour basic law enforcement in-service training course, twice a week for 10 weeks. Capt. Borchers said many Reserve Division deputies have gone on to become full-time, paid officers.

To apply, Capt. Borchers said a person must meet the following criteria:

-Live in St. Bernard Parish
-Be at least 21 years old
-Have earned a high school diploma or GED
-Have a clean police record; background checks will be conducted.

For more information, or to obtain an application, contact Capt. Borchers at (504) 278-7628 or Sgt. Eric Eilers at (504) 278-7799.



St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office participates in Special Olympics Torch Run

Posted: May 18th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

Participants in the 2018 St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics gather near the Chalmette Battlefield Monument prior to the run on the morning of May 18. Several dozen runners, including parish Special Olympics participants, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and St. Bernard firefighters, took part in this year’s event.

Brynn Plaiscia carries the torch as Special Olympics participants kick off the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on the morning of May 18 at Chalmette Battlefield.

Col. Chad Clark holds the torch during the start of the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held May 18 in Chalmette. With Col. Clark are, from left: St. Bernard Fire Chief Thomas Stone, Agent Brian Canepa, Lt. Daniel Bostic, Agent Ryan Lopez, Lt. Rickey Jackson, Sgt. Matthew Arcement and Sgt. Brad Nuccio.

Sgt. Matthew Arcement carries the torch at this year’s St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held May 18 in Chalmette. The run started at Chalmette Battlefield and ended near the St. Bernard Parish Government Complex.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Agent Brian Canepa takes his turn carrying the torch at this year’s St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held May 18 in Chalmette. With Agent Canepa are, from left: St. Bernard Fire Chief Thomas Stone, Sgt. Brad Nuccio and Sgt. Byron Shoemaker.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Capt. Brian Clark, right, and Capt. Gerald Kimble barbecue some burgers during a celebration in Torres Park following the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held in Chalmette on May 18, 2018.

Lt. Lisa Jackson serves a burger to Jordan Mahler and other participants in the 2018 St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held in Chalmette on May 18.

Tessie Riggio and Brynn Plaiscia share a moment at Torres Park following the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held in Chalmette on May 18.

Lt. Raymond Theriot talks with participants prior to the beginning of the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held May 18.

Brynn Plaiscia, center, with her parents, Agent Michael Plaiscia, left, and Kelli Plaiscia, following the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held in Chalmette on May 18.

St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, along with St. Bernard firefighters, and St. Bernard Parish Special Olympics participants, took part in the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on Friday, May 18, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Sgt. Jessica Gernados, who coordinates the run for the Sheriff’s Office, said several dozen people participated in this year’s event. Participants took turns carrying the “Flame of Hope” for Special Olympics Louisiana through the parish during the run which began around 10 a.m. at the Chalmette Battlefield.

Following the mile-long run along St. Bernard Highway, Jean Lafitte Parkway and Judge Perez Drive, Sheriff Pohlmann said, participants were welcomed outside the St. Bernard Parish Government Complex by a crowd of spectators cheering them on. Runners and Special Olympics participants met near the pavilion on the Dr. Meraux Boulevard side of Sidney Torres Park where they enjoyed food and refreshments.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is an international series of torch relays, run by law enforcement officers leading up to the state or nation’s Special Olympics Summer Games. The event, which has been celebrated for 33 years, brings together more than 2,000 law enforcement officers who take part statewide each year.

The Louisiana State Summer Games will be held May 18 through 21 on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.



St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office D.A.R.E. program graduations

Posted: May 17th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

Lynn Oaks School fifth-graders who were named D.A.R.E. essay winners are seated, from left: Gabriella Correa-Cruz, Paige Hoover, Patrick Petkovich and Ava Robin, second place winners; Kailen Robinson-Jones, first place; and Justin Tanner and Michelle Williams, second place. With the essay winners are, standing, from left: Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisors; Lynn Oaks Principal Kim Duplantier; and Lynn Oaks teacher Chris Wilder Jr.

Lt. Lisa Jackson, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisors, left, and Lynn Oaks Principal Kim Duplantier, center, welcome Lynn Oaks School fifth-graders into their D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony May 14 at the school.

Lt. Lisa Jackson, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisor, far right, speaks to Lynn Oaks fifth-graders and their parents during the school’s D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held May 14 at the school.

Meraux Elementary School fifth-graders who were named first-place D.A.R.E. essay winners are, first row, from left: Brooklynn Petitfils, Juanye’ Mackle, Andrea Euceda and Derek Pacheco. Second place winners are, second row, from left: Hillaree Fulgham, Diego Morales, Victoria Mathieu and Mya Sincere. With the essay winners are, third row, from left: Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisors; St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann; Lt. Daniel Bostic; Col. Robbie McNab; Lt. Robert Broadhead; Mistress of Ceremonies student Kamryn Alexander; Meraux Elementary Principal Natalie Albers; and Meraux Assistant Principal Michelle O’Neill.

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann speaks to Meraux Elementary School fifth-graders about the importance of not consuming drugs and alcohol during their D.A.R.E. anti-drug program graduation ceremony held May 14 at the school.

Sgt. Darrin Miller, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisor, helps Meraux Elementary School fifth-grader Derek Pacheco while he reads his D.A.R.E. essay during graduation. Also pictured is Lt. Lisa Jackson, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisor, right

Sgt. Darrin Miller, anti-drug program supervisor, hands out D.A.R.E. water bottles during at graduation ceremony held for Meraux Elementary School fifth-graders who completed the program.

Meraux Elementary School fifth-graders enjoy some pizza and cake following their D.A.R.E. anti-drug program graduation.

Nearly 300 St. Bernard Parish fifth-graders graduated from the spring semester of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

Seven students graduated from Lynn Oaks School’s program on May 14, and a graduation was held May 16 at Meraux Elementary for 69 students. Joseph Davies Elementary School had 112 students graduate from the program in a ceremony held May 8 at the school, and Lacoste Elementary School had 104 students graduate May 10.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program, taught in St. Bernard Parish schools by program supervisor Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller, is aimed at discouraging youngsters from using drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, or taking part in violence or the bullying of others.

During the graduation ceremonies, students heard from Sheriff Pohlmann about making the right choices when it comes to the use of drugs or alcohol. The Sheriff stressed the importance of listening to their parents and teachers, and choosing their friends wisely.

Sheriff Pohlmann spoke to parents about the importance of protecting our future by investing in our children. He reminded parents to take part in keeping their children on the right path and focused on doing the right thing, including talking often with them and looking for warning signs to help prevent drug use.

Sheriff Pohlmann also talked to the students about bullying and how important it is to not bully others, and to report any kind of bullying they witness to an adult or teacher.



St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrest two men for distribution of various narcotics, recover drugs and a handgun with an obliterated serial number

Posted: May 15th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrested two men May 3 for distribution of various narcotics, and they seized a large amount of drugs and a handgun with an obliterated serial number, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Christopher Brown, 28, of the 3000 block of Charles Drive in Chalmette, was booked with possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, possession with the intent to distribute Tramadol, possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, no license plate, expired temporary tag, no driver’s license and no auto insurance.

Christopher Hornes, 27, of the 100 block of Forest Drive in Belle Chasse, was booked with possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, possession with the intent to distribute Tramadol, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of drug paraphernalia and warrants out of Orleans and Plaquemines Parishes.

On May 3, shortly after 5 p.m., Sheriff Pohlmann said, agents with the Special Investigations Division conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle with an expired Louisiana temporary tag traveling through Arabi at an accelerated speed above the posted speed limit near the intersection of Angela and N. Prieur streets.

During the traffic stop, agents noticed a strong aroma of marijuana emitting from inside the vehicle. Following a search of the vehicle, agents recovered 15.4 grams of marijuana with a street value of $308, 11.3 grams of crack cocaine valued at $1,130, 2.7 grams of heroin valued at $250, 31 dosages of Tramadol valued at $155, clear plastic baggies and a grinder.

Agents also recovered a Taurus .38 special revolver with an obliterated serial number, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

A criminal history check was conducted on both subjects which revealed Hornes has two outstanding warrants, one out of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office and another out of the New Orleans Police Department. It also was determined Hornes has a prior conviction out of Florida for a controlled dangerous substance.

Hornes and Brown are both being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on $100,000 bonds.

Sheriff Pohlmann reminds residents to call the Sheriff’s Office narcotics hotline at (504) 271-DOPE or 3673 to report suspected illegal drug activity in St. Bernard Parish. Callers can remain anonymous, and all calls will be acted upon.



St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office D.A.R.E. program graduations

Posted: May 11th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann takes a moment to pose with a Joseph Davies Elementary School fifth-grade student following the school’s D.A.R.E. anti-drug program graduation ceremony.

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann speaks to Joseph Davies Elementary School fifth-graders about the importance of not consuming drugs and alcohol during their D.A.R.E. anti-drug program graduation ceremony held May 8 at the school.

Joseph Davies Elementary School fifth-graders who were named first-place D.A.R.E. essay winners are, first row, from left: Sophia Ali, Trey Meyers, Marissa Sass and Kristion Thomas. Runners-up are, second row, from left: Barry Johnson III, Cassidy Nunez, Daliah Meyer and D’Niah Spriggins. With the essay winners are, third row, from left: Lt. Lisa Jackson, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisor; Lt. Daniel Bostic; Capt. Ronnie Martin; St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann; Sgt. Darrin Miller, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisor; and Davies Principal Donna Schultz.

Sgt. Darrin Miller and Lt. Lisa Jackson, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisors, hand out certificates to D.A.R.E. graduates from Joseph Davies Elementary School.

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann claps to congratulate Lacoste Elementary School fifth-graders during their D.A.R.E. anti-drug program graduation ceremony held May 10 at the school.

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann congratulates Lacoste Elementary fifth-grader Kennedi Bolds on being named a D.A.R.E. essay contest winner.

Lacoste Elementary School fifth-grader Evan Gonzales sings the D.A.R.E. song with his classmates at the school’s D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held May 10 at the school.

Lacoste Elementary School fifth-graders who were named first-place D.A.R.E. essay winners are, first row, from left: Trace Seube, Kevin Domino Jr., Hayden Blum and Kimberly Quintanilla. Runners-up are, second row, from left: Layla Maturin, Kennedi Bolds, Travis Borden and Marae Eisler. With the essay winners are, third row, from left: Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisors; Col. Robbie McNab; St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann; Lt. Daniel Bostic; St. Bernard School Board Member Diana Dysart; and Lacoste Principal Stacie Alfonso.

Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisors, congratulate D.A.R.E. graduates from Lacoste Elementary School.

Lacoste Elementary School fifth-grader Evan Gonzales sings the D.A.R.E. song with his classmates at the school’s D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held May 10 at the school.

Lt. Lisa Jackson, D.A.R.E. anti-drug program supervisor, hands out souvenir water bottles to D.A.R.E. graduates at Lacoste Elementary School following a graduation ceremony held in their honor.

Lacoste Elementary School fifth-graders enjoy some pizza following their D.A.R.E. anti-drug program graduation.

Lacoste Elementary fifth-graders enjoy some pizza and cake following their D.A.R.E graduation ceremony.

Lacoste Elementary fifth-grader Trace Seube admires his D.A.R.E. anti-drug program graduation certificate during the ceremony.

More than 300 St. Bernard Parish fifth-graders will graduate from the spring semester of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

Joseph Davies Elementary School had 112 students graduate from the program in a ceremony held May 8 at the school, and Lacoste Elementary School had 104 students graduate May 10. Lynn Oaks School will hold its ceremony May 14, and a graduation is set for May 16 at Meraux Elementary.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program, taught in St. Bernard Parish schools by program supervisor Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller, is aimed at discouraging youngsters from using drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, or taking part in violence or the bullying of others.

During the graduation ceremonies, students hear from Sheriff Pohlmann about making the right choices when it comes to the use of drugs or alcohol. The Sheriff stresses the importance of listening to their parents and teachers, and choosing their friends wisely.

Sheriff Pohlmann speaks to parents about the importance of protecting our future by investing in our children. He reminds parents to take part in keeping their children on the right path and focused on doing the right thing, including talking often with them and looking for warning signs to help prevent drug use.

Sheriff Pohlmann also talks to the students about bullying and how important it is to not bully others, and to report any kind of bullying they witness to an adult or teacher.