New St. Bernard sheriff’s message as new term start for Sheriff Pohlmann
Four years goes by in a hurry.
I was honored in 2012 to begin my first four-year term as sheriff of this parish with Richard Baumy as my Chief Deputy Sheriff. And I believe in those four years we have worked hard to keep St. Bernard the safest parish in the New Orleans area.
Now, as I am being sworn in June 30 for the start of a second term, I look back on my first four years as a time in which we accomplished many things and fulfilled pledges made to the public.
And, of course, we owe a debt of gratitude to the people of St. Bernard Parish who have stood by the Sheriff’s Office over the past years.
When we asked you for an increase in property taxes in 2013 so we could build for the future St. Bernard residents responded by approving the measure 61-39 percent. Thank you for supporting your police.
In my new term, I will continue to make sure St. Bernard remains the safest parish in the New Orleans area.
I am proud to say that quick response times to calls remains the hallmark of this department and always will be.
Battling narcotics activity in this parish will continue as a top priority. Call our anonymous tips line at 271-DOPE if you suspect narcotics activity. All calls are investigated
I also intend to use emerging technology applied to law enforcement.
Fulfilling promises I made, we have more officers on the force now than when I started as sheriff, have built three new sub-stations at parish borders at no cost to residents – as well as opened an office in the old Courthouse on Bayou Road for residents of eastern St. Bernard. The new stations are part of our crime suppression strategy and should give residents peace of mind that the parish can be effectively shut down in case of an emergency.
We have heavily stressed training programs for officers, both in-house and through training offered in other parts of the state.
The hiring process for officers was also ungraded involving creation of a hiring board made up of experienced deputies who interview applicants and make recommendations.
Through grants the department has been successful in obtaining money used to get its first mobile emergency command post, a patrol boat big enough to be used on the Mississippi River and a deep-water truck that can be used for evacuating residents or moving personnel around in a rain storm event.
Our SWAT team has been restructured and expanded and is training in public buildings for worst case scenarios involving armed intruders. You hate to think about that but you have to be prepared.
Security has also been upgraded at the parish Courthouse.
We have also placed two officers at Chalmette High in an agreement with the school system. We continue to have officers in the D. A. R. E. program in the school system as well as officers at the alternative school.
And we have partnered with Crimestoppers to expand our relationship with this program which offers tips to get names of suspects in crimes, which has led to numerous arrests for crimes in St. Bernard Parish. Remember to call us at 271-2501 or Crimestoppers at 822-1111 if you have information about crime suspects.
We have also gotten good results with putting prison work crews with public projects with other agencies to help clean up highways, cut trees along canals to improve drainage and even help with levee maintenance.
And we have created free programs for the public. One is our Junior Deputy Academy held these past two summers for boys and girls 10-13 to give our youth a chance to learn some things about our parish, meet deputies in a positive way and learn about the Sheriff’s Office and equipment.
Another new program is Refuse to be a Victim, giving residents a chance to hear experts discuss crime prevention advice such as what type locks and lighting are recommended for homes and businesses.
And we will continue our Citizens Police Academy starting in August each year as well as Neighborhood Watch groups and Night Out Against Crime held in October.
Call Capt. Charles Borchers at 278-7628 or Deputy Eric Eilers at 278-7799 for more information or to register for any free programs.
As always, we continue to rely on residents to be our first eyes in their neighborhood because you know what does and doesn’t look right in your area. Call us at (504) 271-2501 if you see anything suspicious. Timely calls by witnesses lead to arrests and we are fortunate to have residents willing to report what they see.
As you may know, I am constantly out and about in our parish and invite you to come up to speak with me.