Date: October 10, 2016
Published Saturday, October 8, 2016
Now that I have gotten through the first term, things are starting to stabilize.
I want to focus more on community programs. I first thought about re-establishing the Junior Deputy Program as a way to mentor and work with our young citizens.
But after giving it much thought and looking into other programs, I decided that SJSO can better serve our youth with a program like the “Distinguished Gentlemen’s Club”.
So, I sent out a departmental email to see if there was any interest of officers to partake in this program. Fourteen members of SJSO agreed to participate.
We had our first meeting this past Wednesday. After a few minutes it did not take long for me to see how enthusiastic my officers (male and female) were about getting this program off the ground. We decided to call it the “Distinguished Gentlemen’s Club” and designed it to identify participants who may or may not have a father or male figure in their life.
An application would be drafted and a contract would be created to set guidelines for participants. The longest part of this meeting was what age to start the participants.
We decided to start with juniors and seniors in high school, with the mindset of initiating the program in January 2017 and reach seniors graduating in May 2017.
I envision taking young men on field trips to places like sporting events, a tour of the Saints training camp, St. Louis Cathedral, to Baton Rouge to the Legislative Session and college campuses.
They would experience traffic, misdemeanor and felony court proceedings and watch an actual trial with a jury. And we can’t leave out cultural experiences like a play at St. John Theater or listening to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in concert.
Training would include a professional handshake, public speaking and how to properly introduce yourself; and we must include gentlemanly duties like how to open the door for a lady or an elderly person, proper dress and even how to tie a necktie!
My goal is for our young men in St. John Parish to see law enforcement in a different light. We will be looking forward to teaching them about safety and have open dialogue about incidents that have taken place in our country. SJSO will be looking to identify other organizations and individuals to assist with this program so that burnout does not occur with just one group.
I would like to give a shout out to St. John Parish Recreation Director Kerry Watkins for hosting our first ever NFL Pass, Punt & Kick competition in St. John Parish. It was a total success with about 80 kids in attendance.
I along with members of SJSO volunteered at the camp sponsored by the parish and really enjoyed it. We are already looking forward to next year.
These types of programs are desperately needed in our parish in order to get our youth on the right track of being great future leaders of St. John. Once we get started, I will be looking for volunteers and I hope to see many of you in our program.