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The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help finding missing Arabi resident

Posted: January 22nd, 2020 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags:

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help finding an Arabi resident who has been missing since last weekend, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Linda Diane Smith, 67, left her home in the 100 block of Llama Drive in Arabi between 5 and 7 p.m. on the evening of Jan. 19, and has not returned home or been heard from since.

Smith is a black female with brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5’3” tall and weighs 150 lbs.

Smith was last seen wearing a brown V-neck shirt, brown and white pants, black shoes and a long black overcoat with a hood.

Family members say Smith, who suffers from dementia, is believed to have left on foot.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Smith is asked to contact the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501.

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St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office recruiting 911 Communications Center deputies

Posted: January 22nd, 2020 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags:

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office recruiting 911 Communications Center deputies

They’re the first point of contact for a person in need, or the true first, first responders, but 911 operators are often overlooked and underrated among law enforcement and emergency response professionals.

Although often the unsung heroes, Sheriff James Pohlmann said, 911 operators play a vital role in law enforcement, serving as the link between the caller and deputies who can provide safety and emergency medical professionals who can render aid.

“They need to be able to think fast, ask the right questions and get help on the way as quickly as possible,” the Sheriff said. “They’re also responsible for keeping track of where our deputies are at all times and being there for them in their time of need as well, whether it be providing them with valuable information or sending backup their way.”

A 911 operator must be able to act calmly while taking control in chaotic and stressful situations, the Sheriff said, often times making split decisions that could make a difference between a life and death situation. They’re required to gather essential information from callers and dispatch the appropriate first responders to the scene as quickly as possible.

They must be organized, adept at multitasking, level-headed and trustworthy. It’s also important for them to be compassionate, yet unwavering in various types of situations, the Sheriff said.

Due to these types of demands, the Sheriff said, advanced on-the-job training is mandatory for deputies in the Communications Division, which operates the 911 emergency system from its headquarters on West St. Bernard Highway in Arabi.

“All training is hands-on and is often stringent and rigorous,” said Maj. Angie Huff, commander of the 911 Communications Center. “There’s an extensive training program that consists of four different phases that takes no less than six months to finish. It’s imperative they be well-trained to handle any situation.”

Maj. Huff said deputies work 12-hour shifts and are cross trained in all of the following positions: call taker, dispatcher and NCIC dispatcher.

The role of a call taker includes answering all incoming calls that come in through the 911 line, as well as the non-emergency line, and handling them accordingly, Maj. Huff said. Call takers must have strong communication and typing skills, along with a positive and caring attitude.

Call takers must remain calm in stressful situations, while gathering accurate information and establishing priorities. This deputy must efficiently provide details to dispatchers, as well as other emergency service personnel such as fire department officials and emergency medical technicians.

Maj. Huff said dispatchers gather information provided by the call taker and assign the appropriate officer on duty to respond to that call. This deputy also has to keep track of the location of all officers on duty, whether they are on an assigned call or a call generated through instances such as a traffic stop, flag down or car broken down on the highway.

The NCIC dispatchers gather information from officers in the field such as a subject’s name or a vehicle’s license plate in order to advise deputies if the person of interest has any outstanding warrants or if a vehicle is listed as stolen. Maj. Huff said this deputy is required to do a certain level of investigating to find all the information needed by the officer. During high call volume times, this deputy also helps answer incoming calls.

During a typical shift, Maj. Huff said, there are no less than five deputies working in the 911 center; however, for large scale events such as festivals and parades there could be as many as 10 working at one time.

In an average month, Maj. Huff said the 911 Communications Center receives more than 2,000 calls, mostly for things such as suspicious activity, disturbances, alarms, reckless driving and lockouts.

In addition to being at least 21 years old and having a high school diploma or GED, pre-employment screenings include: an extensive criminal background check, an oral interview, typing, spelling and multitasking tests, polygraph, drug screening, and medical examination. Applicants also must have a clean driving record, computer literacy and a typing speed of at least 35 wpm.

The starting salary for a deputy in the Communications Division is based on experience and education. Benefits include health insurance, dental and vision plans, life insurance, vacation and sick leave, pension plan and credit union access.

Anyone interested in obtaining information about a career in law enforcement as a 911 Communications Center deputy, can call (504) 271-2501. Applications are available online at sbso.org or by visiting the Sheriff’s Office at #2 Courthouse Square in Chalmette, directly behind the St. Bernard Parish Courthouse.

Consider joining St. Bernard’s finest in “Keeping St. Bernard Safe.”

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Three St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office deputies receive Kiwanis Club Life Saver Award

Posted: January 22nd, 2020 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags:

Three St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office deputies receive Kiwanis Club Life Saver Award

Three members of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office were awarded the Kiwanis Club of St. Bernard-Arabi Life Saver Award at a banquet hosted by Kiwanis on Jan. 14 at Rocky and Carlo’s Restaurant in Chalmette, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Lt. Lacye Lulei, Dep. Alisha Casbon and Dep. Darrien Dufrene, all 911 Communications Center dispatchers, were honored for their efforts to save the life of a person overdosing outside the Communications Center in Chalmette.

On Sept. 10, 2019, Sheriff Pohlmann said, as Lt. Lulei, Dep. Casbon and Dep. Dufrene exited the Communications Center after finishing their shift, they were approached by a male who advised them his girlfriend was in his truck in the parking lot overdosing on narcotics.

While Dep. Casbon ran back inside the 911 Center to advise nightshift 911 dispatchers the female was not breathing and to call Acadian Ambulance and the St. Bernard Fire Department, Lt. Lulei and Dep. Dufrene got the female out of the vehicle and onto the ground, and started performing CPR.

Once the Fire Department arrived on the scene, Narcan was administered and the female was transported by Acadian to St. Bernard Parish Hospital awake and alert.

“If not for the quick thinking and reactions of Lt. Lulei, Dep. Casbon and Dep. Dufrene, the outcome may have been much different,” said Maj. Angie Huff, commander of the 911 Communications Center.

Lt. Lulei has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2007, Dep. Casbon started in 2011, and Dep. Dufrene was hired in 2018. Lt. Lulei and Dep. Casbon are both graduates of P.O.S.T, or Police Officer Standards in Training police academy.

Sheriff Pohlmann praised the deputies at the banquet for their efforts which saved the woman’s life, and also for their hard work and dedication to a position that often gets overlooked.

“The 911 dispatchers are the true first responders,” the Sheriff said.

Kiwanis Life Saver Committee Chairman Sam Catalanotto said the Kiwanis Club started presenting these awards more than a decade ago as a way to recognize first-responders in the parish for the work they do to protect the public. The award is presented quarterly to parish first responders chosen by the Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department, he said.

“They are the first people through the door, and usually the last ones out, in an emergency, putting their lives on the line everyday,” Catalanotto said.

Anyone interested in joining the St. Bernard/Arabi Kiwanis Club community service organization is welcome to attend one of its luncheons each Tuesday at noon in the Rocky and Carlo’s Sicilian Room, 613 W. St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette. For more information, call Robby Showalter at (504) 616-7312.

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St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrests Violet man in fatal shooting of stepfather

Posted: January 20th, 2020 | Filed under: Arrested, News Releases | Tags:

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrests Violet man in fatal shooting of stepfather

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrested a Violet man Sunday, Jan. 19 in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred two days prior in Violet, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Joel Lehmann, 35, of the 5400 block of East St. Bernard Highway in Violet, was booked with first degree murder for the fatal shooting of his stepfather inside the home they shared in Violet.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, Sheriff Pohlmann said, deputies responded to a call for assistance at a home in the 5400 block of East St. Bernard Highway in Violet. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found a male victim who had been fatally shot inside the home. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

During the course of the investigation, detectives with the Criminal Investigations Bureau determined Lehmann was responsible for the shooting.

Lehmann was apprehended Sunday morning, Jan. 19, and booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison where he is being held. Bond has not yet been set.

Sheriff Pohlmann said no one else was injured during this isolated incident.

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St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrest two Violet men for armed robbery of Violet bakery

Posted: December 30th, 2019 | Filed under: Arrested, News Releases | Tags:

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrest two Violet men
for armed robbery of Violet bakery

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrested two Violet men in connection with the armed robbery of a Violet bakery on Dec. 27, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

David Johnson, 47, of the 2400 block of Elizabeth Court in Violet, and Melvin Onidas, 36, of the 6500 block of Jules Brown Street in Violet, were both booked with armed robbery for robbing at gunpoint Barker’s Dozen, 7801 E. St. Bernard Highway in Violet.

Around 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 27, Sheriff Pohlmann said, a male suspect, later identified as David Johnson, entered the bakery, brandished a handgun and demanded cash from the register. Johnson stole an undetermined amount of cash and fled the scene.

During the course of the investigation, detectives with the Criminal Investigations Bureau were able to identify Johnson through eyewitness accounts and video surveillance.

Detectives also determined Onidas, who is seen on video surveillance entering the bakery just prior to the robbery, was with Johnson and involved in the robbery.

Sheriff Pohlmann said no one was injured in the incident.

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SBSO searching for person of interest in armed robbery

Posted: December 28th, 2019 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags:

****UPDATE: TWO SUSPECTS IN CUSTODY****

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office searching for person of interest in connection with armed robbery of Violet bakery

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating and identifying a person of interest who may have information about an armed robbery that occurred on Friday, Dec. 27 at Barker’s Dozen, 7801 E. St. Bernard Highway in Violet, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Around 11:30 p.m., Sheriff Pohlmann said, a male suspect entered the bakery, brandished a handgun and demanded cash from the register. The suspect stole an undetermined amount of cash, and fled the scene on foot, north bound on Farmsite Road.

The race of the male suspect is not known, but he was wearing a dark colored hoodie, camouflage pants, white high top sneakers, a mask that covered his face and gloves.

Sheriff Pohlmann said no one was injured in the incident.

Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Bureau are seeking assistance from a male person of interest, seen in the photo submitted, who entered the store shortly before the robbery took place in hopes he may be able to provide information valuable to the investigation.

Anyone with information regarding the person of interest’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.

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St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrests two men in connection with a homicide in Chalmette

Posted: December 27th, 2019 | Filed under: Arrested, News Releases | Tags:

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrests two men in connection with
homicide in Chalmette, issues arrest warrants for three more suspects

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrested two Chalmette men in connection with the fatal shooting of a New Orleans man on Christmas Eve in Chalmette, and arrest warrants have been issued for three others in connection with the case, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Dijon Weatherspoon, 18, of the 400 block of Pierre Street in Chalmette, and Quinn Bryant, 17, of the 400 block of Dubarry Street in Chalmette, were both booked with one count of first degree murder for the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old male victim on Tuesday, Dec. 24, and two counts of attempted first degree murder for shooting two innocent bystanders during the incident.

Arrest warrants also have been issued in the case for Myron Morris, 25, of the 880 block of Gervais Street in New Orleans, Davin “Draco” Williams, 17, of the 8000 block of Dorsett Drive in New Orleans, and a 16-year-old male from New Orleans.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24, Sheriff Pohlmann said, deputies responded to a call about a shooting in the 400 block of Pierre Street in Chalmette.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they found a male victim, later identified as 18-year-old Gregory Alexander of New Orleans, lying in the street suffering from two gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff Pohlmann said two other male victims, not involved in the case, were struck by stray bullets during the incident. Both victims were transported to area hospitals to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

During the course of the investigation, detectives with the Criminal Investigations Bureau learned the suspects and the victim were involved in a narcotics transaction when a verbal altercation ensued. During the altercation, weapons were brandished and several shots were fired at the victim, striking him and the two innocent bystanders.

Based on information obtained by eyewitnesses and video surveillance from the scene, the Sheriff said, detectives were able to identify the five suspects involved in the incident.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Morris, Williams or the 16-year-old male involved in the case, or additional 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.

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SBSO searching for male suspect in connection with carjacking

Posted: December 27th, 2019 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags:

***Suspect has turned himself in to SBSO and is in custody***

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office searching for male suspect
in connection with carjacking in Chalmette

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating a suspect wanted for carjacking a vehicle occupied by two small children in Chalmette, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Dedric Hurst, 18, of the 3700 block of Juno Drive in Chalmette, for two counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of carjacking.

At 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26, Sheriff Pohlmann said, multiple units were dispatched to the 3500 block of Kings Drive in Chalmette in reference to a carjacking.

When deputies arrived on the scene, the female victim said as she was unloading groceries from her parked car, a black male jumped into her vehicle and fled from her driveway with her two small children still inside, secured in car seats.

As he fled in the stolen vehicle, the suspect, later identified as Hurst, struck the female victim who is 7 months pregnant.

Sheriff Pohlmann said the stolen vehicle was quickly located by deputies, abandoned a few blocks away, with the two children, unharmed and still inside. The mother was transported to an area hospital for treatment and was later released.

During the course of the investigation, detectives with the Criminal Investigations Bureau were able to identify Hurst through video surveillance and information from eyewitnesses.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect or with information regarding this incident is asked to call the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau at (504) 278-7630 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.

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St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office investigating homicide in Chalmette

Posted: December 25th, 2019 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags:

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office investigating homicide in Chalmette

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fatal shooting of a male victim that occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24 in the 400 block of Pierre Street in Chalmette, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Two other male victims who were also shot during the incident were both transported to area hospitals to be treated for non life-threatening injuries.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Several hundred St. Bernard Parish fifth-graders recently graduated from the fal

Posted: December 25th, 2019 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags:

Several hundred St. Bernard Parish fifth-graders recently graduated from the fall semester of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

Lynn Oaks School had 16 students graduate from the program on Dec. 4, Arabi Elementary held a ceremony Dec. 6 for 86 students, and J.F. Gauthier Elementary had 84 students graduate on Dec. 10. Chalmette Elementary held a ceremony on Dec. 12 for 78 students and Our Lady of Prompt Succor had 39 students graduate on Dec. 17.

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 bullying of others.

During the graduation ceremonies, students heard from Sheriff Pohlmann and other officers who spoke 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. He also told the students not to bully others, and to report any kind of bullying they witness to an adult or teacher.

Sheriff Pohlmann also addressed parents in attendance about the importance of protecting our future by investing in our children. He praised parents for taking 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.

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