Maj. Ronnie Martin is 17th Sheriff’s Deputy to graduate FBI National Training Academy in Va.; He took part in activities honoring 200 children of slain police officers
Jul 1, 2011 – Maj. Ronnie Martin of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office said he wasn’t expecting how emotional it would be to meet and take part in activities honoring about 200 children of slain police officers when he attended the FBI National Training Academy in April through mid-June.
Martin is the 17th member of the St. Bernard department to graduate the prestigious academy in Quantico, Va., continuing a long-standing relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the federal law enforcement agency.
He said attending the 10-week training class was a remarkable experience, made even more so by the chance to see on May 14, during Police Week, the visit to the academy of more than 200 children of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
“It hits home. You look at the kids and of course you think about your own kids,’’ said Martin, a native of St. Bernard Parish who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 17 years in the patrol division, as a canine unit officer and working in the Narcotics Unit and Street Crimes Unit.
“For that day you are filling a role for those children,’’ Martin said. “It was more emotional than I knew it would be.’’
Class members of the Training Academy session met and interacted with the survivors, who ranged in ages from five to their early 20s, Martin said. “They had lunch with us and afterwards we had activities and games with them.’’
He said three buses of the children were escorted by some 300 police officers on motorcycles and the policemen were from all over the nation. “Many of the kids had photos of mothers or fathers they lost or had shirts in memory of them.’’
“It was a blast,’’ Martin said. “The kids said afterward it one of their favorite things of the week.’’ The visit is sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc., a non-profit group organized in 1984.
St. Bernard Parish Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said Martin’s appointment to the Training Academy class as the 17th deputy from St. Bernard demonstrates the department’s close relationship with the FBI.
Pohlmann also said he is glad Martin got to experience the visit of the children of those who died in the line of deputy, noting that when he graduated the FBI National Training Academy in 1995 he also was able to take part in the visit by survivors of slain officers. “It is a moving experience you never forget,’’ Pohlmann said of seeing the children.
Martin, who is in the sheriff’s Special Investigations Division commanded by Chief of Detectives Col. John Doran, said his FBI Training Academy class had 246 students representing law enforcement agencies from nearly every state and also 22 internatonal students, including ones from China, Egypt and the Ukraine.
“It’s the other law enforcement officers you meet’’ that makes the experience so special, Martin said, adding that from being in the class an officer makes invaluable contacts with others.
Lt. Brent Bourgeois named Knights of Columbus St. Bernard Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year
May 29, 2011 – Lt. Brent Bourgeois, a 14-year veteran of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, who is a member of the department’s motorcycle division within its Traffic Division, has been named the Knights of Columbus St. Bernard Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year.
This is the first time since Hurricane Katrina that the Catholic men’s fraternal and charity-oriented organization’s Archbishop Rummel Council 5747 in Chalmette has given a Deputy of the Year Award.
Bourgeois, a Chalmette native, has served in several divisions of the Sheriff’s Office since he joined the department in 1997, advancing to the rank of lieutenant.
He has worked in the Communications Division, as a patrol deputy, in the Street Crimes Unit of the Special Investigations Division, in the Traffic Division and is a member of the sheriff’s SWAT team, used in emergency situations.
In the fall of 2008, Lt. Bourgeois became one of two deputies – along with Lt. Mike Ingargiola – who were chosen to re-establish the sheriff’s Motorcycle Division.
He has held been active in DWI enforcement in St. Bernard Parish, which is so vital to ensuring the safety of motorists.
Lt. Bourgeois has previously been a recipient of a Knights of Columbus award as a deputy, prior to Hurricane Katrina.
Bourgeois, whose family also attended the Knights of Columbus Rummel Council awards banquet at its hall on Paris Road, said it was an honor to be chosen by the group. “There are so many good officers at the Sheriff’s Office who keep this parish safe. Each bring their own talents,’’ Bourgeois said.
Rummel Council Grand Knight Larry Gonzales said the organization re-re-established the Deputy of the Year Award, as well as a Firefighter of the Year Award, as a means of showing appreciation for the job done by St. Bernard Parish first responders, who daily put themselves on the line for parish residents.
“This award (received by Bourgeois) used to be given before the hurricane,’’ Gonzales said. “We wanted to start it again because we have one of the safest parishes in this state and that’s because the Sheriff’s Office works so hard to keep it that way.’’
Deputy Chief Richard Baumy, representing the Sheriff’s Office, said, “We appreciate it when a group recognizes the work of the men and women of the department. First-responders including deputies, firefighters and emergency technicians are out there every day to help St. Bernard.’’
The Knights of Columbus are known for charitable projects and youth activities in the New Orleans area, including St. Bernard Parish. They are a corporate sponsor of Children’s Hospital, which serves the needs of children throughout the area, and is a contributor to the St. Bernard Parish Recreation Department.
The annual Louisiana Crawfish Festival, held in Chalmette in the Spring, is a principal fund-raising event for the Knights of Columbus, with proceeds going to charitable causes.